The importance of resilience in schools

10/29/18 12:43 PM

Conferences provide a great opportunity to connect, learn and be inspired. The recent NZ Principals' Federation conference centred around the theme of creativity, including leveraging technology in productive ways, with an interesting range of speakers and EduTech vendors.

NZPF2018

Speaking with school Principals, the education sector is facing significant challenges including a critical teacher shortage. With increasingly complex learning environments, information and cognitive overload is the default, adding to stress levels for both teachers and students. Schools are in digital transformation, expected to roll out the new digital curriculum, keep students engaged and cyber safe on a range of devices, and to equip students for the future of work teaching critical thinking skills and digital capabilities with thinly stretched resources. Change is occurring more rapidly than at any other time in history, and schools are bearing the brunt of this in many ways. 

Resilience is a learned skill, with the term originally used in Physics referring to the ability to return to original form after being bent, compressed or stretched. It is now widely used to refer to the ability we have as individuals to 'bounce back' after trauma or stressors. The more we practice resilience, the easier it gets to develop habits that serve us in stressful, reactive times.

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The Resilience Institute is doing important work in this space, providing a 'resilience framework' to identify resilience assets and liabilities (see the diagram to the left). I spoke with Myriam Kleinmann from the institute, who is working with schools to support both teachers and students. 

Deep human competencies connect the body, the heart, the mind and the spirit. The resilience framework helps the development of resilience habits, reducing stress and supporting individuals and teams in school environments to reach their full potential. 

One of the biggest challenges with the online environment  is information overload, and we need to be decisive about the type of information we want to be exposed to. 

"Start by limiting the information you consume," says Alexia Michiels, co-founder of the Resilience Institute Europe. "We absorb as much information in a day as our ancestors in the fifteenth century did in a lifetime," she says.

The way we live our days leads into how we live our lives. Courage, creativity and connectivity with the development of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills are integral to the development of our own resilience assets. 

Source: The Resilience Institute 

All-in-all, great to have the opportunity to see this framework at the NZPF, and gain an understanding of how schools are utilising these insights. 

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It you're interested in how technology can also be used to reduce digital distraction and engage students, contact our team for a demonstration of our suite of solutions, including Mobile Zone for off-network cyber safety. 

 

 

 

 

Michelle Polglase

Written by Michelle Polglase

A lifelong learner who loves tech and digital strategy.