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An exploratory study of teacher buoyancy

Angel Kit Yi Wong (Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, Hong Kong)
Sylvia Yee Fan Tang (Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, Hong Kong)
Dora Dong Yu Li (Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China)
May May Hung Cheng (Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, Hong Kong)

Journal of Professional Capital and Community

ISSN: 2056-9548

Article publication date: 27 October 2020

Issue publication date: 22 June 2021




The purpose of this paper is threefold. Firstly, a new concept, teacher buoyancy, is introduced. Based on the significance to study how teachers bounce back from minor and frequent setbacks (vs. major adversities emphasized in resilience) in their daily work and the research on buoyancy by Martin and Marsh, a dual-component framework to conceptualize this new concept is introduced. Secondly, the development of a new instrument, the Teacher Buoyancy Scale (TBS), to measure it is presented. Thirdly, results of a study using the TBS are reported, which provide insights into how teacher buoyancy can be fostered.


The study employed a quantitative design. A total of 258 teachers taking a part-time initial teacher education (ITE) program completed the TBS. Their responses were analyzed by exploratory factor analysis (EFA). In addition to descriptive statistics and reliability coefficients, Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to examine the relationship among the factors.


The data analysis indicated five factors, namely, Coping with difficulties, Bouncing back cognitively and emotionally, Working hard and appraising difficulties positively, Caring for one's well-being and Striving for professional growth. These factors can be readily interpreted by the dual-component framework. Correlations among the factors further revealed that enabling factors can be subdivided into more proximal personal strengths relating to direct coping, and more distal personal assets pertaining to personal well-being. It is the latter that correlates most highly with perceived teacher buoyancy.


The most original contribution of this paper is the proposal of the new concept of teacher buoyancy which is teachers' capacity to deal with the everyday challenges that most teachers face in their teaching. The delineation between buoyancy and resilience sharpens the focus of the problem domain that is most relevant to teachers. The development of the TBS provides a useful and reliable instrument to examine teacher buoyancy in future studies.



Wong, A.K.Y., Tang, S.Y.F., Li, D.D.Y. and Cheng, M.M.H. (2021), "An exploratory study of teacher buoyancy", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 281-297.



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