Resilience Lessons


Applying Resilience Skills for Young People: A Curriculum-Based Approach

Toni Noble from Australian Catholic University, Sydney, Australia

Life is a bumpy journey and everyone experiences setbacks and makes mistakes. All students at times face challenges in learning and in relationships; and some face more major challenges. All students (and teachers) need to learn the skills to be resilient and bounce back. Th is workshop draws on the award-winning Bounce Back program and applies positive psychology principles to educational curriculum. Bounce Back topics include values, courage, positive emotions, relationships, people bouncing back, optimistic thinking, and skills and attitudes for being successful. Practical activities and strategies will be work-shopped to demonstrate ways to embed the teaching of well-being and resilience in the elementary and middle school curriculum. These strategies include the use of children’s literature, cooperative learning, circle time, drama, songs and other activities to help students learn the academic skills, social skills and coping skills to enhance their well-being and resilience.

Children’s Resilience Program in India

Steve Leventhal from University of California, Global Health Sciences, San Francisco, CA, United States:

We present findings from CorStone’s ‘Children‘s Resiliency Program (CRP)’ in New Delhi, Mumbai and Surat, India.

CRP is a 24-week, school-based prevention program that incorporates elements of positive psychology, restorative practices, and social-emotional learning skills for at-risk adolescent youth in developing countries. The CRP seeks to provide youth with knowledge and tools that build character strengths, inter-personal skills, problem-solving and conflict resolution. In 2009 the CRP was piloted with 97 female students, ages 12-18 at a school in a poverty-stricken Muslim community in New Delhi. Teachers were trained to facilitate weekly one-hour support groups (10 students per group). Group sessions included an interactive 20 minute lesson plan followed by 40 minutes of group sharing and problem-solving. Emotional resilience was assessed by levels of optimism, locus of control, and emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Standardized assessments administered at baseline, midpoint and post intervention, showed large emotional and behavioral effects. ‘Normal’ scores on the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) increased from 33% at baseline to 61% at mid-intervention (12 weeks), whereas the percentage of students having an abnormal score decreased from 45% to 6%. Significant decreases in pessimism and external locus of control were found in post-intervention scores. Attendance increased markedly on days when the program was offered. 99% of students reported that the topics were relevant to their lives and that the program provided valuable learning experiences.

An intervention for 1,000 adolescent girl students in slum communities in Mumbai and Gujarat is currently underway, using a quasi-experimental design with 500 girls receiving the intervention and 500 girls serving as a control group.

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