A1 Journal article (refereed)
Factors Constraining Teachers’ Wellbeing and Agency in a Finnish University : Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic (2022)

Mäkelä, T., Sikström, P., Jääskelä, P., Korkala, S., Kotkajuuri, J., Kaski, S., & Taalas, P. (2022). Factors Constraining Teachers’ Wellbeing and Agency in a Finnish University : Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Education Sciences, 12(10), Article 722. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100722

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Mäkelä, Tiina; Sikström, Pieta; Jääskelä, Päivikki; Korkala, Salme; Kotkajuuri, Jimi; Kaski, Saara; Taalas, Peppi

Journal or series: Education Sciences

eISSN: 2227-7102

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 19/10/2022

Volume: 12

Issue number: 10

Article number: 722

Publisher: MDPI AG

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100722

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/83769


The COVID-19 pandemic forced teachers to undergo a sudden shift toward technology-enhanced teaching and learning, challenging their capacities for change in many ways. This study explores those factors constraining teachers’ wellbeing and agency that influenced their capacities as teachers in a Finnish university during the first year of the pandemic. Two sets of data were collected, with an online survey in the spring (n = 297) and autumn (n = 246) of 2020. At both times, challenges with workload, time management, and interactions with colleagues were found to be the most constraining factors. Difficulties with work–life balance and home office facilities seemed more of an issue in the spring, whereas transforming teaching and adopting new technological tools were reported as more burdensome in the autumn. The findings show the need for teachers to be heard and holistically supported, particularly when extensive changes in teaching arrangements are expected on a rapid schedule.

Keywords: universities; higher education (teaching); distance teaching; teachers; well-being at work; human agency; challenges; unusual conditions; COVID-19

Free keywords: COVID-19; emergency remote teaching; university teachers; wellbeing; agency

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-02-05 at 13:08