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International Graduate Centre of Education

Research Proposal - Sara Martin


Global, national and local teacher stress, attrition and retention issues are well established in current literature. This study will: (1) investigate teacher understandings of teachers own sense of well-being and its connections to their professional roles; (2) explore how teacher well-being may act as an agent in strengthening student learning achievement in Northern Territory schools.

Primary data collection will be collected using semi-structured ethnographic-type interviews involving ten practicing Northern Territory Middle School teachers. The researcher will also contribute a personal, subjective and objective internal perspective on current teacher well-being complexities, such as key roll challenges, occupational stress, organisational social behaviour, and attrition and retention in neophyte teachers. Secondary data will be sourced from national and Northern Territory education policy documents, reports and publications that include issues such as teacher workforce development, student learning performances and key policy action. The study findings will draw on primary and secondary data sources, with the analysis and discussion referenced against Complex Adaptive Theory to understand the interconnecting relationships between teacher wellbeing and role requirements in the development of student learning outcomes in Northern Territory schools, specifically those with a Middle Years focus.


Sara Ivy Martin is a lover of teaching, learning, sociology, travel and her family. She grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia and after finishing high school, completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences and a Graduate Diploma of Middle School Education. She has a passion for education and has worked as a Middle School Teacher in the Northern Territory for the last nine years. Sara is currently completing a Masters of Education (International) where she is researching the connect between personal and professional teacher well-being and student learning performance.

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