Presentation on theme: "Team-Teach National Conference Key note speech Dr Tina Rae"— Presentation transcript:
1 Team-Teach National Conference 21.3.13. Key note speech Dr Tina Rae Building Resilience – The Tigger effect! Teaching happiness and well being using solution focused tools of Positive PsychologyTeam-Teach National ConferenceKey note speechDr Tina Rae
9 Does resilience reveal why some people thrive while others do not?
10 What IS it?The term resilience comes from the Latin word ‘resilio’ – to jump back…hence the tigger image!Cyrulnik (2009) ‘resilience is about abandoning the imprint of the past’.Resilience is a dynamic process that occurs in a context and is the result of the person in interaction with his or her environment (Rutter 1991)
11 Further……..Contexts such as home, community, schools and classrooms have been shown to provide protection to children and young people at risk and to direct their development towards positive and healthy pathways (Schoon 2006).
12 Resilience research…tons!!!!! Studies since 1970’s – considered resilience in terms of individual invulnerability and focused on individual characteristics such as temperament, intelligence, problem solving skills, stress resistance which would ‘harden’ children and enable them to achieve success. These studies suggested that there was something remarkable about children who overcame great adversity.
13 Is this true?????Later studies this notion of ‘invulnerability’ gave way to that of resilience and the earlier focus on individual characteristics changed to the identification of PROTECTIVE factors that reduce the impact of risk factors.Researchers have found that protective factors have a stronger impact on children’s development than risk factors.
14 It looks as if it is becoming harder for young people to bounce back after setbacks
15 The Loss of SadnessFor the last 2,500 years human beings could distinguish between normal sadness or suffering and clinical depression.Since the development of the classification system for mental illness the boundary has become blurredThe ONLY context the manual takes into account for depression is bereavementFor more on this argument buy the book ‘The Loss of Sadness’ by Wakefield & Horowitz
16 What does this mean? This has had an impact on wider society People can suffer similar symptoms to depression in reaction to many life events (e.g. when they break up with a partner, fail an exam or don’t get into the school pantomime for example) This is normal and not pathological.These symptoms usually don’t last long.There is a tendency to medicalise this misery.Major Clinical Depression usually arises for no reason. And, context usually cannot explain it.We may be creating a problem of resilience by pathologising normal reactions to life experiences
17 10 big reasons to explain the erosion of young people’s resilience Why is it becoming harder for young people to bounce back after set backs?10 big reasons to explain the erosion of young people’s resilience
18 Why? 1:Treating young people like infants Our society thinks that young people:Need constant protectionCan’t handle responsibilityAren’t capable thinkersAre moody and selfishSome argue that there is something wrong with their brainBut research shows that treating young people like infants makes them behave like infants
19 Why? 2: Spotlight on the individual Society focuses too much on the individual and how they feelThis encourages young people to think that they are the centre of the worldThis means that young people blow out of proportion any setbacks or challenges in life
20 Why? 3: Black and white thinking Our culture views people as fixed entities, which are unchangeablePeople are born good/badPeople are born smart/stupid etcThis type of thinking exaggerates the significance of failure and difficulties
21 Why? 4: Entitlement I want it all NOW Our society makes people feel that they are entitledCelebrity culture suggests success should be instantThis makes people think that effort and hard work are not importantThis Increases self-obsession and undermines resilience
22 Why? 5: Wrapping up in cotton wool Parents now do not want their child to have any negative experiencesThis means that they try to protect them from life's knocks and blowsDoing this undermines their resilience
23 Why? 6: Psychological cleanliness Young people are being brought up in an environment that is too clean, psychologicallyResilience is formed as a result of dealing with setbacks
24 Why? 7: Negative emotions are wrong People are frightened of negative emotionsThis encourages people to try to supress their emotionsParadoxically, research shows this causes more of the negative emotions that they didn’t want
25 Why? 8: Ignoring the importance of bad feelings People think that bad feelings don’t have a purpose.And that bad feelings such as guilt, shame and frustration are only negative.But research shows that bad feelings can galvanise us to do things differently: we need them to succeed.
26 Why? 9: The need to be perfect Mass media encourages people to believe that they need to be perfectThis encourages us to feel inadequate and, again, exaggerates our inevitable problems and difficultiesThis undermines resilience when the person sees that perfection is not attainableMass media encourages us to compare ourselves with the rich and famous
27 Why? 10: Too much choice We now have more choice than ever Paradoxically this make peopleNot chooseRegret their choicesFeel depressedOverwhelmed
28 All of these factors undermine young people’s ability to bounce back
30 Young people can be likened to springs or balls
31 They can bounce backPeople can bounce back psychologically after being knocked out of shape, just like in natureBouncing back is the ability to cope with adversity or hardshipBouncing back means that people can carry on, and even flourish, after setbacks31
32 Positive PsychologyPositive Psychology is the new science of optimal human functioning: what makes people happier, more productive and more successful.It focuses on what works by studying success and strengths, rather than weakness and failure.Impact on resilience research – risk and challenge are good for us! Focus on inner strengths and environmental support factors, rather than concentrating solely on weakness, protection and vulnerability.
33 What environmental factors helped you to bounce back? Stop and think!What environmental factors helped you to bounce back?Was there a significant event, person or context?
34 Building resilience involves a two pronged approach 1. Personal coping skills – they CAN be taught!2. Environmental factors – you can change things!
35 What can be done to help people bounce back? Here are 11 things we should factor in to our thoughts and behaviour…
36 What? 1: Hold high expectations Young people are capableWe need to challenge them.We should expect that young people will achieve their goalsPeople reach goals at different times. But most will get there
37 What? 2: Focus away from the self It is important that you don’t make the child the centre of the universeThis undermines their well-being as they exaggerate every minor incidentEncourage young people to volunteer and help others
38 What? 3: People are not born smart Encourage young people to see intelligence and ability as something they need to work atPeople are not born smartALL of the most successful people in life will have had to overcome failureUse role models to illustrate this
39 What? 4: Failure often leads to success Encourage young people to view failure in a different wayFailure is a learning opportunityTalk about the failures you have overcome. You are a role model.
40 What? 5: Normalise don’t personalise After a negative experience it is common for young people to think that this type of thing ONLY happens to themEncourage young people view these setbacks as normal – everybody experiences themAnd help them not to think that this is something which reflects badly on them
41 What? 6: Bad feelings are normal It is human nature to experience negative emotionsOnly psychopaths and dead people don’tBad feelings are normalLearning anything worthwhile requires some frustration
42 What? 7: Bad feelings don’t last When young people encounter negative experiences they make think that they will ALWAYS feel that wayResearch shows that bad feelings don’t lastRemember to remind young people that these feelings will pass
43 What? 8: Don’t over worry or over protect Life is full of ups and downsIf you protect young people from them they will not cope when they meet setbacks and will not be able to assess riskAllow young people to make mistakesOverprotection only makes young people more vulnerable and anxious
44 What? 9: Perfection doesn’t exist Everyone has flaws, even the most accomplished peopleThere is no standard for perfectionIt is much more important that people try to do their best, rather than be the best
45 What? 10: Teach young people skills Young people have an inbuilt need to learnYou can help young people to learn the skills to help them in lifeOrganisation, reading, writing etc etc
46 What? 11: One size does not fit all Not all children will respond to one way of building resilience. This is why it is important to foster many different ways for children to bounce back
47 What can the school do?School connectedness (academic support for those who are struggling academically)One caring adult outside the familyCommunity connectednessPositive family- school linksPeer connectedness
48 What can the teacher do?Going the extra mile for less resilient studentsBelieving that people can change and improveHolding high expectations for all studentsGive feedback which is constructive to help young people succeedTeach resiliency skills and what I call ‘happy habits!’
49 What can teachers and parents do to foster resilience in young people? 1.Remember, bad feelings: don’t last; have a purpose; and galvanise us to do things differently.2.Try to normalise young people’s set-backs. Help them to see they are not abnormal in having difficulties in life.3.Help them to see that problems can be solved.4.Encourage young people to keep things in perspective – the problem is usually confined to only one part of their lives.5.Remember the value of humour – laughing can be a great release (but only if it is well-intentioned).6.Encourage young people to accept responsibility for their actions.7.When reading stories, or discussing events, point out how people manage to overcome difficulties.8.Remember that learning is often frustrating. Encourage young people to persist and believe they can get there.9.Provide support. Help them to see there are people who care about them and can give them help and advice when needed.10.Create a positive environment, that emphasises the importance of relationships and a sense of purpose: there is more to life than the way they feel.
51 Teaching Resilience The programme aims to enable students to: Visualise successIncrease mastery and therefore self-esteemEnhance self-efficacy and the ability to take controlBecome more optimisticManage stress effectivelyImprove decision makingBe able to ask for helpDeal with conflict successfullyIncrease mastery and learningBe themselves
52 Some sample activities from the programme: The six building blocks of resilienceResilience checklistCharacter strengthsStrength talkMy top character strengthsUsing strengths to bounce back
53 Final question to you?Does your approach, context and curriculum build this resiliency in your students?What needs to happen next?Can you develop your curriculum and approaches in order to develop resilience in ALL your students?