Educational innovation – HTH Well-Being Framework

Yasemin was applicant and project lead for Comenius Teaching Fellow Grant 2019-2021 (application scored best in theme category – €50.000). Together with Jenny Sok and over 40 LYCar students, we performed research to design a student well-being recommendation. This resulted in the HTH student well-being framework, currently integrated into the curriculum.

Students experience and have to deal with many impulses. In order to support their overall well-being as students and future leaders we, as educational inspirators, have the duty to make them more aware of their own and others' well-being. This supports increased learning, higher satisfaction and greater understanding (Moscardo, 1996).

The project ‘Practice You: Well-being at the heart of hospitality’ provides insights into student well-being within the context of Hotelschool The Hague (HTH) and hospitality in a broader sense. The project is based on positive psychology and the growth-mind set philosophy (Dweck, 2017; Stoltz, 1997).

Various well-being programs in education already exist. Our approach is unique, because of its academic underpinning, integration in the curriculum and its combination of four focus areas: authentic happiness, competency, social- and emotional skills (Schonert-Reichl & Stewart Lawlor, 2010; Santos, 1997).

Although the general student well-being at HTH is above average, the stress levels are at times higher than average. This reflects the high-pressure situations of their prospective careers in the hospitality industry. Students experience a myriad of social, emotional, and behavioral challenges that interfere with their interpersonal relationships, school success and their potential to become competent adults (Greenberg et al. 2001). As a hospitality business school, HTH strives to provide students with sufficient knowledge; growing their knowledge/intelligence (IQ), emotional (EQ) and adversity (AQ) competencies to make a difference in the industry (HTH Institutional Plan, 2018). Over the past years development of competencies has increased in importance (Tesone & Ricci, 2005) to foster retention within the working environment (Ghiselli, La Lopa & Bai, 2001). The role of education in supporting well-being is crucial and can have a significant impact on overall study success (Neil & Christensen, 2009; Schonert-Reichl & Stewart Lawlor, 2010).

The aim of this project is to provide practical and sustainable outcomes that are integrated in the HTH-curriculum, with as its main goal to support awareness and application of educational innovations around student well-being.

By applying a design-based research approach, the project took a bottom-up perspective (through a diverging converging process) by collaborating with almost 40 graduating bachelor students. Together different studies were designed and executed ranging from quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method approaches. Out of the different studies the project team reviewed all outcomes and ‘converged’ (based on literature review, solution testing and student reflections) these into one specific product (the HTH Student Well-Being framework, see products) and supporting recommendations.

HTH Well-Being Framework (Oruc & Sok, 2021)