In the teaching profession, healthy and motivated until retirement - prevention and human resource development methods

Project No. FF-FP 0314


completed 10/2014


This project aimed to make a practice oriented contribution to increase the length of time worked in the teaching profession. Supplementary to the classic prevention approach, possibilities for remaining in the teaching profession as long as possible and realizable solutions for alternative career paths (career models) had to be established during defined vocationally orientated phases of the teaching profession (applicant selection - career choice, professional education, professional life, change of occupation). Further, a future-oriented concept for prevention and human resource development strategies, as well as a strategic guideline for the workplace reintegration management, had to be presented in the school area. In parallel, a preventative network and rehabilitative support for the school area was to be developed.


First a risk analysis was carried out to provide data on inability to work as well as early retirement and the workplace reintegration management. Through surveys, interviews and focus group discussions with experts, as well as the application of standardised vitality diagnostic, early warning indicators for a premature incapacity to work were established. The data assessment was realised with both company medical officers and different teacher groups (i. e. working versus chronically ill teachers). Moreover, strategies of internal human resources development for teachers were tested. Lastly, guidelines for an optimised internal and corporate workplace reintegration management were developed that provides head teachers and company doctors with recommendations for dealing with chronically ill teachers.


The comparison of the health‐risks with the resources of the various target groups has shown that those in the teaching profession require qualified, appropriate occupational care from a network of interdisciplinary experts. The duties of the occupational‐medical team regarding those teaching vary strongly from region to region. The goal of ensuring that teachers are still efficient, healthy, and content even after the end of their careers can be achieved through the preventative holistic concept involving work, proactive healthy living, and health promotion. The occupational‐medical, psychological care according to the Dresdner model serves as an early warning system and is fundamental to attainment and maintenance of employability and health. This type of care system occurs in tandem with the other branches of teacher health care, as well as the other partners in the health network. This treatment concept focuses not only on the professional risks (stress factors) and how to avoid them, but also on the resources inherent in the teaching profession and their usage (salutogenesis), and how all this is affected by the individual, age‐based fluctuations in performance and potential. The preventative holistic concept must integrate learning processes and an efficient transfer of experiential knowledge obtained throughout the phases of development: entry phase (25+), career phase (35+), and seniority phase (50+), furthermore, these preventative healthcare measures should begin as soon as one decides that they want to become a teacher and/or is already studying to become a teacher.

Depending on the current professional phase – from entry‐level to the veterans and the already ailing teachers – appropriate measures must be taken to reduce stress and other health‐endangering factors. These measures are to be taken as soon as one who is studying to become a teacher undergoes the suitability review and continue through the process of making the support structures available. Support structures are made available depending on which phase the teacher is currently in (for example: occupational‐medical preventative care, company integration management), also included are customized continuing education and human resources development strategies. This should ensure that primary prevention‐oriented support is given to teachers throughout their whole money‐making careers.

These measures were developed for all professional phases and have been tested.

  • Secondary school students wanting to become a teacher and those studying to become one: Self‐discovery procedure for suitability and personal requirements demanded from those interested in teaching (SELIG online tool)
  • Tertiary student studying to become a teacher: more hands‐on experience during studies, transfer of knowledge of teacher’s health, expert supervision of beginning teachers by mentors, as well as the integration of occupational‐medical‐psychological preventative care from the very beginning
  • Teachers: occupational‐medical‐psychological preventative care, early warning system according to the Dresdner model
  • Principals, staff councils: Company doctors, continuing education for company integration management, as well as further education on the subjects of stress and health of teachers, procedure guidebook
  • Career changers: Collection of professional alternatives, career matrix, process description

This concept can prevent teacher absences caused by work‐related illness, thereby reducing the incurred social insurance costs, especially in the curative branches of the healthcare and retirement systems. Potential users of this concept include those involved in the healthcare of teachers, such as: occupational therapists, prevention officers, etc.) and social partnerships (health and accident insurance).

Last Update:

15 Jan 2015


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Technische Universität Dresden

public service

Type of hazard:

muliple exposures multiple strain


prevention, work and age, education

Description, key words:

teacher, human resource development, my next profession