Studies show that student mental health has continued to deteriorate over the years. Developing strengths-based approaches could aid educators in the development of Psychological Capital (PsyCap) and positive protective factors in students to support their mental well-being and aid in their success; however, little is known of the subject experience of educators who attempt this.

This study aims to understand the experience of award-winning educators; both in their attempts to cultivate positive protective factors in students and in challenges to the pursuit of that goal during the shifting academic landscape at the emergence of COVID-19.

Six award-winning educators from a British university.

Participants were interviewed over video calls in this research design using semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.

Results & Discussion
The results showed two major themes; pressures for academics and strength-based approached to cultivating PsyCap. These themes reflected that educators saw an urgent need for students to develop resilience as they struggle to handle subjective failure and that students struggle with imposter syndrome. The educators identified the challenges as feeling taken for granted, having unmanageable workloads along high expectations placed on them.

COVID-19 has added significantly to the workloads of educators and demonstrated students' need for resilience. This research identifies the experiences of educators trying to improve strengths-based practice while identifying the challenges of pursuing that goal in the changing pedagogy post–COVID-19.

Cite as

Morris, R., Hoelterhoff, M. & Argyros, G. 2022, 'The challenges and experiences of academics supporting psychological capital among students at the emergence of COVID-19:A qualitative investigation of award-winning educators at a British university', British Journal of Educational Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12565

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Last updated: 05 December 2022
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