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Research and Resources




Foundational Elements Mattering for K-12 Teachers

Wilfong, R. (2021). The mattering model: The foundational elements of mattering for K-12 educators. Available from Dissertations & Theses @ Indiana State University; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I. (2537966312). Retrieved from

Mattering is the feeling that one’s actions are significant, and that one would be missed if one were gone (Rosenberg & McCullough, 1981). So far, little research has addressed the teacher’s sense of mattering in the K-12 setting. This study examined the possible foundational elements or building blocks of mattering for K-12 teachers by using exploratory factor analysis. A thorough review of the literature identified the possible elements of mattering for K-12 educators; based on that, an initial theoretical construct was designed. A survey instrument consisting of 102 items was created, and it was taken by 1,110 participants from diverse backgrounds and school demographics.

The analysis revealed eight factors as the foundation of mattering for K-12 teachers: community, authenticity, flow, compensation, purpose, assimilation, job crafting, and job stability. The eight factors were categorized into three thematic units: Interpersonal (community, authenticity, and flow), Intrapersonal (purpose and assimilation), and External (compensation, job stability, and job crafting).




Wilfong, S and Donlan, R (2021). Presentation, "Why Mattering Matters: What teachers need from other adults to survive and thrive in the classroom." Indiana Association of School Principals,  Fall Professional Conference



Wilfong, S and Donlan, R (2021). Educational Leadership, November 2021, ASCD


Unpublished research

Teachers sense of mattering related to:

  1. Collective teacher efficacy

  2. Self efficacy

  3. Openness to change

  4. Organizational health

  5. Positive school culture

Anticipated publication date: early 2022

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