ERIC Number: ED387946
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
More than a Message of Hope: A District-Level Policymaker's Guide to Understanding Resiliency.
Berliner, BethAnn; Benard, Bonnie
One of the greatest challenges facing today's district-level policymakers and educational leaders is helping America's youth avoid adverse outcomes such as school failure, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and delinquency. This document describes an alternative policy approach to address these problems--the building of resiliency in youth. Rather than identifying the risk factors contributing to failure as traditional prevention efforts have done, some researchers have identified some common "protective factors" that help youth survive risky environments. Their findings argue for the development of policies and programs that aim by design to foster resilience in children and youth. Cross-cultural and interdisciplinary studies have identified the following personal traits commonly associated with children and youth who overcome risks in their lives--social competence, resourcefulness, autonomy, and sense of purpose. These traits are reinforced by the following research-based educational practices that foster resiliency: (1) caring relationships that promote positive expectations and participation; (2) a curriculum that is thematic, experiential, challenging, comprehensive, and inclusive of multiple perspectives; (3) instruction that focuses on a broad range of learning styles, builds from perceptions of student strengths, and is participatory and facilitative; (4) grouping practices that include ensuring inclusionary group practices such as mainstreaming, cooperative learning and peer tutoring; and (5) evaluation that focuses on multiple intelligences, utilizes authentic assessments, and fosters self reflection. The findings from research on resiliency offer a paradigm that relies less on an infusion of money than on changing existing beliefs and practices. One figure is included. (Contains 10 references and additional information on four organizations.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Western Regional Center for Drug-Free Schools and Communities, Portland, OR.