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.
Sara Truebridge, an education consultant on resilience; and Andrew Fuller, a clinical psychologist and author; discuss what resilience looks like and how it can be developed. You might also want to read this post from ASCD's The Whole Child blog: "Why Resilience is Critical in a Learning Environment."
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.
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.
Jackie 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.
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.”
From Stanford University's center on academic mindsets, this free online course includes resources for teachers and parents that introduce learning mindsets and describe activities and strategies to help students develop them.
Neurologist, teacher, and author Judy Willis presents evidence that boredom can actually be bad for our students' brain development and discusses strategies for boosting relevance and helping students build executive functions.
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.
Hunter Maats and Katie O'Brien, teachers and authors, discuss the value of making mistakes and helping students adopt the mindset to view their mistakes as healthy challenges rather than crushing defeats.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's important for educators to reach out to grieving students. Discover guidance and resources to support this difficult task. You may also want to read this earlier post by Chris Park, "5 Tips for Supporting Grieving Students."