Educational goods for well-being in K-12 schools: foundational questions, student autonomy, and stratifications

Thumbnail Image
Krepski, Heather
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Student well-being has become a categorical focus for school education policy and practice across Canada and in many parts of the world. In the Manitoba context, student well-being is identified as a priority area by policymakers and educators in the public K-12 school system. Yet, there is a need for more clarity on the theoretical foundations that underpin notions of student well-being as well as how these conceptions translate into school programming across socio-political and geographic contexts. Both the conceptualization and implementation processes that address student well-being involve human (adult) values and choices about what to prioritize for students in schools. This dissertation consists of a series of three independent papers that explore the themes of distributive justice and educational goods for well-being in K-12 schools. The first paper, entitled, Three Foundational Questions for Policymakers and Practitioners Concerned with Student Well-being, explores three key questions that must be considered for any policymakers and practitioners concerned with student well-being in schools. The second paper, Reimagining Paternalism for a Well-being Mandate in K-12 School Education enquires into the importance of student autonomy when considering student well-being and makes the case for broadening student autonomy through a soft paternalism approach in schools. The final paper, entitled, Social Class and Access to Well-being Goods and Capabilities in K-12 Schools explores teachers’ perspectives, practices, and experiences in schools with student well-being. This qualitative research identifies how teachers characterize educational goods and capabilities for well-being in four different high school program settings across Winnipeg (Manitoba). Findings from this study demonstrate that healthy personal relationships are thought to be an important educational good for well-being, in addition to other goods such as personal fulfilment, personal autonomy, and democratic competence (in that order). Findings also reveal that educational goods for well-being appear to be differently stratified based on school program, which in turn, are stratified based on socioeconomic status as well as other factors.
Student well-being, Educational decision-making, Social stratification, Student autonomy, Ethics in education, Educational justice