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ERIC Number: ED386327
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Aug
Pages: 3
Abstractor: N/A
Fostering Resilience in Children. ERIC Digest.
Benard, Bonnie
This digest summarizes studies that provide evidence that youth with multiple and severe risks in their lives can develop into confident and competent adults; and discusses the critical role schools can play in this process of development. Resilience is the term used to describe a set of qualities that foster a process of successful adaptation and transformation despite risk. An innate capacity for resilience helps children develop social competence, problem-solving skills, a critical consciousness, autonomy, and a sense of purpose. Research shows that certain characteristics of family, school, and community environments may alter or even reverse expected negative outcomes and enable children to manifest resilience despite risk. These "protective factors" can be grouped into three major categories: (1) caring and supportive relationships; (2) positive and high expectations; and (3) opportunities for meaningful participation. First, the presence of at least one caring person provides support for healthy development and learning, and a caring relationship with a teacher gives youth the motivation for wanting to succeed. Second, research has indicated that schools that establish high expectations for all youth and give them the support necessary to achieve those expectations have high rates of academic success and lower rates of problem behaviors than other schools. Third, practices that provide youth with opportunities for meaningful involvement and responsibility in the school foster all the traits of resilience. These practices include asking questions that encourage critical thinking, making learning hands-on, and using participatory evaluation strategies. Contains 12 references. (BC)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A