Leveraging the Evidence on the Relationship between Teacher and Student Well-being in Learning and Teaching

November 28, 2023

The crisis of children’s mental health and rising disparities in educational outcomes have become global concerns, particularly due to the surge in mental health challenges among children and youth attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and other global events that have caused disruptions to student learning and social and emotional wellbeing. Alongside the declines in the well-being of children and youth have been concomitant challenges for the teaching profession leading to discernible increases in teacher stress and burnout, potentially causing teacher shortages worldwide. In light of these concerning trends in the wellbeing of children and teachers, research examining the relationship between teacher and student well-being in the context of learning and teaching is profoundly needed not only to advance science and theory but to also to inform the design and implementation of programs and practices that allow for the creation of learning environments in which both teachers and students can thrive and flourish and reach their greatest potential.

In this extensive report, we present findings from two interrelated research studies that focused explicitly on exploring the relationship between teacher and student well-being in learning and teaching — a topic for which many questions remain. The aim of our research is to offer a deeper understanding of these relationships in order to provide valuable insights for educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders who share an investment in finding ways to improve educational experiences and opportunities for students both in the present and in the future.


Annette Diefenthaler

Ms Annette Diefenthaler

Portfolio Director, Education, IDEO

Annette Diefenthaler is a long-term practitioner of design thinking, co-authored IDEO’s Design Thinking For Educators Toolkit, and has since engaged in helping design thinking spread across the sector.

Sandy Speicher

Ms Sandy Speicher

Partner and Managing Director, Education, IDEO

Sandy Speicher has pioneered bringing design to the education field — formerly an educator herself, she founded the Education practice at global design and innovation firm IDEO, and has created a portfolio of design solutions that bring effective and meaningful experiences for today’s learners and teachers.