The school as a therapeutic community

Joanne Vaughan, Alison Rodriguez, Daniel Boduszek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - The purpose of this study was to explore the facets of Self Determination Theory and the potential relationships with teaching satisfaction in a sample of secondary school teachers (n= 1288). The study explored the potential of the school environment in fostering a beneficial community in which personal needs could be met and investigated potential disparities between male and female teachers.

Design/methodology/approach –The study utilised an electronic quantitative questionnaire to collect data from a representative sample. Structural equation modelling was applied and permitted an exploration of potential relationships between the facets of Self Determination Theory and teaching satisfaction, while controlling for specified covariates.

Findings – It was shown that the specified model could be effectively applied to both male and female teachers. The results demonstrate that only competence was related to teaching satisfaction in both samples.

Practical implications – Future studies should focus on factors which contribute to teachers’ sense of competence within the professional role. Schools need to facilitate this need in order to promote wellbeing within the educational environment.

Originality/value – This is the first known research to explore the specified relationships and the ability of the school environment to foster wellbeing and satisfaction. It is suggested that competence is the more prominent need with regards to teaching satisfaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalTherapeutic Communities
Issue number3
Early online date19 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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