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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Resilience and Grit: Resource Roundup

Edutopia's curated collection of blogs, articles, interviews, and videos with information for parents and educators about the associated concepts of resilience and grit.
By Edutopia, Ashley Cronin

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.

Nurturing Resilience

  • Resilience and Learning (ASCD's Educational Leadership, 2013)

    The September 2013 issue of ASCD’s Education Leadership was dedicated to “Resilience and Learning.” While some of the articles are available only by paid subscription, free highlights include:

    • Reflections on Resilience: Sara Truebridge and Bonnie Benard offer this helpful infographic for understanding resilience -- what it is and what it is not.
    • Havens of Resilience: Nan Henderson, president of Resiliency in Action, describes the aspects of school climate that help support the development of student resilience.
    • Handle with Care: A Conversation with Maya Angelou: Amy M. Azzam interviews Maya Angelou about her own experiences with resilience and her thoughts on fostering resilience in children; check out the bonus audio excerpt to hear part of the interview.
    • 7 Secrets of Resilience: This circular graphic includes tidbits about resilience from each of the authors featured in the September issue.
  • Resilience: The Other 21st Century Skills (User Generated Education, 2013)
  • 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.

  • Is Resilience the Secret to Student Success? (ASCD's The Whole Child podcast, 2013)

    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.

  • Building Resilient Students: Three Strategies for Success (Educational Horizons, 2013/2014)

    Janine S. Davis describes three strategies teachers can use to help foster student resilience in the face of roadblocks and setbacks.

  • Resilience and Schools (Education Week, 2013)

    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.

  • Supporting Student Resilience in the Classroom (Edutopia, 2014)

    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.

  • Teaching Students the ABCs of Resilience (Edutopia, 2013)

    Renee Jain, a positive psychology practitioner with a focus on SEL, discusses the ABCs of Resilience, a simple yet critical formula for helping young people overcome adversity.

  • Educating the Heart: 6 Steps to Build Kindness & Resilience in Children (Dalai Lama Center, 2012)

    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.

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Managing Stress and Failure

  • Help Students De-Stress for Success (Edutopia, 2012)

    Health teacher and Edutopia blogger Christopher Pepper highlights ways educators can help students reduce stress.

  • How to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Failure (Greater Good, 2013)

    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.

  • Making Friends with Failure (Edutopia, 2013)

    Science evangelist and Edutopia blogger Ainissa Ramirez suggests that we make friends with failure in the academic world -- because for scientists, failure is just another word for data.

  • Po Bronson on “Learning to Lose” (GreatSchools, 2013)

    In this brief video, NurtureShock author Po Bronson discusses why it’s important to help children learn how to cope with failure.

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Responding to Trauma and Tragedy

  • Tips for Resilience in the Face of Horror (Greater Good, 2013)

    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.

  • Helping Kids Recover from Trauma (Edutopia, 2009)

    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.

  • Talking to Your Children About Tragedy (Bright Horizons, 2013)

    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.

  • Talking with Children about Difficult Subjects: Illness, Death, Violence, and Disaster (NYU Child Study Center, 2010)

    Though designed with parents in mind, this resource on talking to children about difficult subjects is a useful guide for administrators and teachers at all levels.

  • Responding to Tragedy: Resources for Educators (Edutopia, 2013)

    Freelance contributor Matt Davis has compiled some useful resources with guidance for adults looking to help children through trauma, grief, and natural disasters.

  • Five Tips for Supporting Grieving Students (Edutopia, 2013)

    Chris Park of the New York Life Foundation and Dr. David Schonfeld of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement offer five tips to help teachers deal with grieving students.

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Grit and Growth Mindset

  • Teaching Grit Cultivates Resilience and Perseverance (Edutopia, 2014)

    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.

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Do you know of other useful resources, or are there other types of resources you'd like to see included on this page? Please share your feedback in the comments.

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