An Exploration of Gender and Teacher Wellbeing in Cambodia and Kenya: A Qualitative Study

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Background: Teacher wellbeing is important because it impacts teachers’ ability to complete their work and also impacts student wellbeing. While published literature on teacher wellbeing has increased since the early 2000’s, a disproportionate amount of that work has been conducted in North America and Europe which has limited the generalizability of what is currently understand about teacher wellbeing. Additionally, contextual factors, such as gender, are thought to be potentially influential factors on teacher wellbeing but have yet to be extensively researched. This study aims to assess the relationship between gender and teacher wellbeing in Battambang, Cambodia and Bungoma, Kenya. Methods: Fifty-five teachers from Cambodia and Kenya, including both men and women, contributed to in-depth interviews. Thematic analysis was conducted on interview transcripts to assess gendered relationships and differential treatment, wellbeing facilitators, and participants’ responsibilities in addition to teaching. Additionally, demographic data was collected through surveys. Results: The thematic analysis revealed subtle differences in perceptions of treatment and relationships between participants who identified as men versus women, potential wellbeing facilitators for men and women, and insight into non-school roles and responsibilities for men and women teachers. Conclusions: Based on the nuances between men and women participants’ responses, findings from this study indicate that there may be an important relationship between gender and teacher wellbeing that is worth further researching. This study points to the need to further research in a few key areas including: (1) how do (if at all) gendered relationships and differential treatment make teachers feel/impact teacher wellbeing, and (2) how do (if at all) outside responsibilities in addition to teaching impact teacher stress, fatigue, burnout, and general wellbeing. Lastly, given that there were some differences in activities and opportunities that facilitate teacher wellbeing between men and women participants, this formative research can inform gender-specific interventions addressing teacher wellbeing in Cambodia and Kenya.






Namestnik, Alexa Rae (2022). An Exploration of Gender and Teacher Wellbeing in Cambodia and Kenya: A Qualitative Study. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from


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