Six Modes of Giving Pedagogy for Engagement and Wellbeing – for Teachers and Students

Thomas Nielsen, Jennifer Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study took place across two outdoor education trips to the Great Barrier Reef with two groups of college students (N = 36; 16-19 years), five staff, and one of the authors (TWN). The aim was to explore how an explicit understanding and implementation of the wellbeing research around cultivating generous behaviour for meaningful happiness could be ‘experienced’ by staff and students and articulated as an educational framework, or ‘pedagogy’. Hermeneutic phenomenology was used to record and interpret pedagogical transactions of giving. Six repeated themes were identified: (1) exploration, (2) modelling, (3) explicit instruction, (4) incidental learning, (5) crisis management, and (6) intent. Discussed as instrumental for promoting eudaimonic happiness (‘meaningful living’), these categories may assist educators by providing a broader spectrum of teaching pedagogies with which to not only improve engagement and wellbeing in young people, but also improve their own sense of professional satisfaction and wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalAustralian Journal of Teacher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2023


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