Professional well-being of post-retirement rehired teachers and regular serving teachers in colleges in Nanchang, China


Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


Research theme: This thesis discusses themes in relation to the professional well-being of post-retirement rehired teachers and regular serving teachers in colleges in Nanchang, China.
Research questions: The current study’s design is organised around three questions. First, what components comprise teachers’ professional well-being (hereinafter, abbreviated as TPW) and how do these components manifest in the teachers’ career experience? Second, how do rehired teachers differ from regular teachers in terms of their professional well-being? Third, how do certain demographic factors affect rehired teachers’ and regular teachers’ professional well-being?
Research Methods: The study employed a mixed-method design comprising two data-collection methods: a quantitative survey and qualitative interviews. The quantitative analysis of the survey responses was the current study’s primary focus, while the qualitative part of the study served to augment the quantitative findings with information on what the teachers had learned from their personal career experiences.
Research participants: The survey questionnaire was completed by 388 teachers from 14 colleges. Of these, 319 valid questionnaires (120 from rehired teachers and 199 from regular teachers) were used for the analysis. The qualitative interviews involved 17 teachers—eight rehired teachers and nine regular teachers.
Findings from quantitative analyses: TPW mainly comprises seven components: professional competence, job satisfaction, aspiration, recognition, autonomy, support and relationships, and absence of burnout. Compared to regular teachers, rehired teachers had significantly higher self-reported level in TPW and higher levels in those factors that contributed most strongly to TPW. Two demographic factors—‘health condition’ and ‘teaching years’—were found to affect rehired teachers and regular teachers differently regarding their professional well-being.
Findings from qualitative analyses: Different sub-themes generalised from the interviewees’ comments that aligned with the seven TPW components were used to describe the manifestation of these components in teachers’ career experience. Among these sub-themes, ‘recognition in terms of occupational identity’, ‘autonomy in arranging extracurricular time’, ‘self-perceived moral quality’, and ‘satisfaction with job stability’ were unique to the current study. In general, the rehired teachers’ comments related to the seven TPW components tended to be more optimistic than those of regular teachers.
Conclusion and implications: In the context of the current study, TPW is a concept that mainly comprises seven components. Rehired teachers have many unique characteristics that distinguish them from regular teachers in terms of the relationship between TPW and its components, the perception of TPW, the self-rated levels in TPW, and the effect of some demographic factors on TPW. The current study’s findings can facilitate the development ofmeasurement instruments for TPW in the future, shed some light on the characteristics of professional well-being for teachers in Mainland China—especially for rehired teachers, and contribute to the human resources development of the intellectual resources of retired professionals and the strategies for coping with population-ageing issues in Mainland China. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • TAM, Siu Ling Maureen, Supervisor
  • LI, Tianyuan, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Professional well-being
  • Post-retirement rehiring
  • College teacher
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2020.


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