Does explicit teacher instruction of resilience increase a child's resilience?
Sanders, Byron Travis
Resilience is the ability to achieve favourable outcomes in the face of adversity (Condly, 2006). The increased presence of resilience in education has been noted of particular interest recently as schools move towards a more holistic curriculum, where they are not only teaching academic skills, but also social skills that rely on values, competencies, and principles (Hymel, Schonert-Reichl, & Miller, 2006). The present study aimed to measure the impact of teaching resilience on students as it correlated to their performance on tasks that assessed resilience. This study recruited 120 student participants from year one to year eight from an inner-city full primary school in Dunedin, New Zealand. This study used a repeated measure experimental design with a control group to assess the effectiveness of explicitly teaching students about resilience. Students’ resilience was assessed based off their performance on four tasks across three different phases of the study. Students in the experimental condition group were exposed to three linked lessons about resilience, while students in the control condition were not exposed to these lessons until after the assessments had concluded. The results showed no significant difference in resilience between control participants and the experimental group across all measured tasks. The performance of the experimental condition participants on the four resilience tasks was not significantly better than the control condition participants. In some instances there was actually poorer performance by the experimental condition participants on certain tasks. Results from this study suggest that the intervention of teaching children about resilience was not strong enough. Alternatively the measures of resilience were not sensitive enough to the intervention or were not valid. Further research could explore these implications through a more intensive and long-term intervention.
Advisor: Berg, David; Smith, Jeff
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Education
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Resilience; Education; Teaching; New Zealand; Adversity; Resilient
Research Type: Thesis