Final Defense – Katie Palmquist

Supporting Early Childhood Workforce Well-Being: A Conceptual Activity System Model

July 2 @ 1:00 pm

LSC 710

This thesis explores the role of organizational practice and theory in working towards well-being within the early childhood workforce through the framework of activity systems as derived from Cultural Historical Activity Theory. Disproportionate rates of depression, burnout, and turnover within the field indicate that well-being may be low for early care and education providers. Promoting well-being is presented from a positive psychology viewpoint as both an ethical imperative and a practical strategy for improving individual and organizational outcomes. Theory and guiding principles from two organizational approaches – Industrial Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior Management – are presented and conceptually integrated into the early childhood activity system “resources.” For both the workforce and society, important social justice implications will be explored along with a discussion of possible applications, research, and further conceptualization of early childhood activity systems.