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How Can Schools Build Resilience? Teacher Professional Development Building Resilience in Children and Young People.

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Presentation on theme: "How Can Schools Build Resilience? Teacher Professional Development Building Resilience in Children and Young People."— Presentation transcript:

1 How Can Schools Build Resilience? Teacher Professional Development Building Resilience in Children and Young People

2 How Can Schools Build Resilience? Building Resilience is based on research which highlights the importance of taking a multi-dimensional school-wide approach to building resilience. It assists schools to: Partner with the school community, including families and local and community services Lead activity across the school, orchestrating a comprehensive approach Teach social and emotional skills to all students across all year levels Support those young people identified as needing additional assistance Refer those in need to appropriate services

3 How Can Schools Build Resilience? Schools play a key role in promoting resilience Schools have a significant role to play in promoting the resilience and positive development of children and young people Schools build resilience through programs which:  Establish a safe, supportive and inclusive environment  Build positive social norms  Generate a sense of connectedness to teachers and peers  Explicitly teach social and emotional skills  Generate commitment to the academic goals of the school Clonan et al. 2004; Seligman et al. 2009

4 How Can Schools Build Resilience? A Positive School Climate Makes a Difference A positive school climate is associated with greater levels of belief amongst students that teachers can be a useful source of assistance for issues related to violence or bullying Eliot, M., Cornell, D., Gregory, A., & Fan, X. (2010). Supportive school climate and student willingness to seek help for bullying and threats of violence. Journal of School Psychology, 48,

5 How Can Schools Build Resilience? Group Activity: What do we do? Do we need to review? What are we doing to ensure all staff use a positive approaches to managing student behaviour? What strategies do we use to identify and address bullying? Where do we teach the skills for positive relationships? How do we demonstrate the we have high expectations for student learning and behaviour? What are we doing to ensure all staff use a positive approaches to managing student behaviour? What strategies do we use to identify and address bullying? Where do we teach the skills for positive relationships? How do we demonstrate the we have high expectations for student learning and behaviour?

6 How Can Schools Build Resilience? What is Positive Psychology? A recent branch of psychology Term coined by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csilszentmihalyi Interest in wellness and optimal functioning Research into  happiness  optimism  strengths, virtues and values  pleasure  states of ‘flow’ or heightened engagement or immersion Seligman, M., Ernst, Randal M., Gillham, Jane, Reivich, Karen, & Linkins, Mark. (2009). Positive education: positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35(3),

7 How Can Schools Build Resilience? What is a Strength Based Approach? Taking a strengths-based approach entails emphasising and building on the strengths, capabilities and resources of staff and students Research in the field of positive psychology emphasises the value of building  Social and emotional competency - via explicit teaching of SEL  Positive emotions - by designing policies and programs that encourage a sense of belonging, school pride, and optimism  Positive relationships - between all teachers and students and amongst the student cohort  Engagement through strengths - assisting students and staff to know and use their strengths  Purpose and Optimism - creating opportunities for students to develop a sense of meaning and purpose through pursuit of civic goals Alvord & Grados, 2005; Clonan et al., 2004; Masten, 2009; Noble & McGrath, 2008; Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000; Waters, 2011

8 How Can Schools Build Resilience? The 24 Character Strengths * Creativity Curiosity Open-mindedness Love of learning Perspective Bravery Persistence Integrity Vitality Love: Kindness Social intelligence Creativity Curiosity Open-mindedness Love of learning Perspective Bravery Persistence Integrity Vitality Love: Kindness Social intelligence *Based on Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification written by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman; Oxford University Press and the American Psychological Association, 2004 Citizenship Fairness Leadership Forgiveness Humility Prudence Self-regulation Appreciation of beauty Gratitude Hope Humour Spirituality

9 How Can Schools Build Resilience? Group Activity: The Strengths Debate Assign each small group one of the 24 character strengths Give them time to prepare a case in which they argue why this character strength is essential to success in the teaching profession Invite players from each group to make their case After the presentation, discuss strategies to foster and use these strengths in the staffroom and the classroom Assign each small group one of the 24 character strengths Give them time to prepare a case in which they argue why this character strength is essential to success in the teaching profession Invite players from each group to make their case After the presentation, discuss strategies to foster and use these strengths in the staffroom and the classroom

10 How Can Schools Build Resilience? REFLECT How can I investigate my own character strengths? Take the strengths registry survey by going to the authentic happiness website This is a well-validated tool developed by leading positive psychologists Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson Have your students take the strengths registry for children How can I investigate my own character strengths? Take the strengths registry survey by going to the authentic happiness website This is a well-validated tool developed by leading positive psychologists Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson Have your students take the strengths registry for children

11 How Can Schools Build Resilience? REFLECT What are my top character strengths? How do I use my strengths in the classroom? How do I use my strengths when working with my colleagues? What are my top character strengths? How do I use my strengths in the classroom? How do I use my strengths when working with my colleagues?

12 How Can Schools Build Resilience? Useful Links Principles of Health & Wellbeing (DEECD) guides professional practice in Department health and wellbeing services, early childhood services and schools. Building Resilience is particularly relevant to the “social and emotional wellbeing” component of these underpinning principles: x x The Achievement Program (DEECD) provides guidance for a whole- school approach to working towards health priority areas: Positive Psychology Building Resilience online:

13 How Can Schools Build Resilience? References Catalano, Richard F., Haggerty, Kevin P., Oesterle, Sabrina, Fleming, Charles B., & Hawkins, J. David. (2004). The Importance of Bonding to School for Healthy Development: Findings from the Social Development Research Group. Journal of School Health, 74(7), Clonan, Sheila M., Chafouleas, Sandra M., McDougal, James L., & Riley-Tillman, T. Chris. (2004). Positive psychology goes to school: Are we there yet? Psychology in the Schools, 41(1), Durlak, J.A., Weissberg, R.P., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., & Schellinger, K.B. (2011). The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions. Child Development, 82(1), Rowe, Fiona, & Stewart, Donald. (2009). Promoting Connectedness through Whole- School Approaches: A Qualitative Study. Health Education, 109(5), Seligman, M., Ernst, Randal M., Gillham, Jane, Reivich, Karen, & Linkins, Mark. (2009). Positive education: positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35(3), WHO. (2014). What is a health promoting school? School and youth health. Retrieved 24 February, 2014, from


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