ERIC Number: ED419073
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Educational Resilience. Publication Series No. 11.
Wang, Margaret C.; Haertel, Geneva D.; Walberg, Herbert J.
To assist educators in fostering resilience among children, this paper offers information that will help transform the picture of children at risk to a vision of educationally resilient students who can overcome obstacles. Researchers have offered many definitions of resilience, but all have stressed the capacity of the individual to overcome personal vulnerabilities and environmental adversities. Two of the most salient characteristics of resilient children are a high level of engagement and a sense of personal agency. Just as some personality traits act as protective factors, so do some features of families, communities, and schools. This booklet explores these features, beginning with parent characteristics that foster resilience. After the family, peers are the most important source of support, providing children and adolescents with a sense of being cared for and valued. Communities with well-developed social networks and consistent social and cultural norms also support resilience. Schools have a major role to play in promoting resilience, and a number of strategies to do so are discussed. Teacher attitudes and expectations are critical, and these must be combined with powerful, research-based instructional practices that facilitate student learning. Responding to student diversity promotes resilience, as does teaching students strategies for learning. The roles of curriculum, programs and reforms that build resilience, and initiatives with a direct influence on student learning are discussed. Children's educational resilience cannot be created merely by a set of activities or strategies, but it can be enhanced by teachers' adopting a new vision of their students as individuals who can make choices, acquire knowledge and skills, and achieve a fulfilling life. (Contains 1 figure, 2 tables, and 19 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Mid-Atlantic Lab. for Student Success, Philadelphia, PA.; National Research Center on Education in the Inner Cities, Philadelphia, PA.