Topic: Using the Resilience Framework to structure Adult-to-Child mentoring: the findings of a participatory action research project at a secondary school in Sussex – Gabrielle Rowles

Resources: You can download Gabrielle’s slides.

Summary:  As part of her Masters in Education, Gabrielle wanted to look at strategies the school uses to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds or who are vulnerable. One intervention was to provide adult-to-child mentoring from a member of staff to any child who did not appear to be thriving at school or who qualified for Pupil Premium funding. It is quite common for schools to offer mentoring to students without setting out clear expectation for what the mentoring is supposed to achieve and without any training offered to staff. Her initial investigation with mentors as co-researchers indicated that students found mentoring really helpful but mentors were anxious about the process. The research group therefore recommended a more structured approach and Gabrielle designed a programme based around the Resilience Framework. Students and mentors worked as co-researchers to investigate the impact of mentoring using this programme. This presentation will look at recent research about effective mentoring and resilience in schools. Gabrielle will then share the findings from the research project she conducted at school in relation to the Resilience Framework for both students and mentors. Finally she will share her experience of the possibilities and challenges of co-researching, in the context of a school.

Biography: Gabrielle Rowles has been a History teacher for 18 years. Prior to this she worked with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in a range of settings, notably setting up the Brighton Urban Outdoor Adventure Project which used outdoor adventure and teamwork to support people who would not usually get access to outdoor activities. Throughout her teaching career Gabrielle has been particularly keen to hook all students into the excitement of education, not just to prepare them for work but to prepare them for a lifetime of thinking and communicating ideas. Since 2014 Gabrielle has been studying for a Masters in Education, as a research leader at her school, with a particular emphasis on strategies to support vulnerable or at-risk students. She discovered Resilient Therapy a few years ago and was attracted by the positive message of ‘ordinary magic’ that it offered to students who have lived with adversity. Her final research project was an opportunity to combine the possibilities of Resilient Therapy with the chance to empower students and teachers by introducing them to research methods.

Who might be most interested: Teachers, school staff, academics, practitioners, researchers, students, parents/carers, community workers, volunteers, young people, anybody who uses mentoring in their approach.

This session took place on Wednesday 21 September 2016.

The Resilience Forum is for ANYBODY (with a pulse!) involved with or interested in resilience research!