There’s been a lot of talk lately about resilience (bouncing back from adversity) and grit (persevering through challenges), including the skills associated with these processes and their importance for student well-being and academic success. Edutopia has created this curated list of resources to help educators and parents follow the discussion and create home and school environments that provide supports and opportunities to help students thrive.
Blogger Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D., uses this blog post to discuss characteristics of resilience, key points from resilience research, and how educators can connect with students to help them develop resiliency.
Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers offer advice on how educators can help schools be places where students are supported to develop the skills necessary to meet and rebound from adversity. Also check out their blog post, "Resilience for Our Students and Ourselves," on the leadership literature about resilience.
Guest blogger Steve Gardiner, a high school English and journalism teacher, looks at the benefits of a resilient mindset and shows how, through modeling confidence and giving a sense of autonomy, teachers can foster student resilience.
In this six-part video series, Dr. Dan Siegel describes how to use brain-based strategies to foster connection and mindfulness in order to build kindness and resilience in children. The videos are of particular interest to parents, but are also useful for teachers dealing with discipline and building relationships with and among students.
Inspired by Paul Tough's new book, blogger Elena Aguilar offers ways to help students set goals, handle stress, and connect with school community. For more about the San Francisco school she mentions and their schoolwide stress-reduction efforts, check out Edutopia's Schools that Work coverage (2012): Tackling Truancy, Suspensions, and Stress.
Vicki Zakrzewski, education director of the Greater Good Science Center, discusses Martin Covington’s research on failure and three strategies educators can use to help students overcome their fear of failure to become success- rather than failure-oriented.
Jason March, founding editor-in-chief of Greater Good, describes how educators and parents can help protect children and themselves from the effects of vicarious trauma. The linked article, "Resources for Helping Children Cope with Trauma," is also worth reading.
Andrea Orr describes how schools can foster resilience by focusing on internal and external supports, helping students build confidence, and encouraging the development of a strong sense of personal identity.
In this video, Brendamarie Contreras, director at Bright Horizons, discusses relevant principles parents can consider in relation to young children and personal or family reactions to traumatic events. Though the introduction to the video is focused on Boston, the principles discussed can be applied to a wide variety of situations.
In rural New Hampshire, fifth-grade teacher Amy Lyon has created a curriculum based on researcher Angela Duckworth’s ideas about grit. Students set and work toward their own long-term goals, learning valuable lessons about dealing with frustration and distractions along the way.
Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller considers 'grit' as a 21st century skill encompassing real-world qualities like determination, adaptability and reflection, and suggests five steps to foster this mindset in the classroom.
Gerstein provides educational resources for understanding and building grit in this companion post to her post on resilience, part of a series of posts on 21st-century skills. Her post includes tools for practice at all levels and a link to Angela Duckworth’s TED talk on grit.
True Grit (Association for Psychological Science, 2013)
Focused on the research, this article serves as a good overview of Angela Duckworth’s research on grit for beginning and experienced educators.
Blogger Elena Aguilar shares highlights from Paul Tough's new book, How Children Succeed. As a follow up, you may want to listen to the podcast Back to School (This American Life, 2012), also focused on the Tough book.
This outstanding set of articles/podcast explores the challenges faced by disadvantaged students entering college, many of whom struggle to get to graduation. Going beyond grit to the need for ongoing supports, Emily Hanford profiles the support model at work in YES Prep Public Schools, a charter school network Edutopia profiled in 2009: College-Bound Culture in Houston.
In this article, a useful introduction to Carol S. Dweck’s work and thinking, OneDublin.org founder and editor James Morehead interviews Dweck about her research into mindsets and the concept of “fixed mindset” versus “growth mindset.”