Fostering academic resilience a brief review of the evidence base
Authors: Professor Angie Hart and Ms Steph Coombe, University of Brighton and boingboing social enterprise
It is very clear that poor school outcomes can have catastrophic long term consequences, and there is growing recognition that schools should address ALL pupils’ needs, for myriad reasons, such as:
- Gutman, Brown, Akerman, and Obolenskaya (2010 pv) writing “For the most part, emotional and behavioural difficulties followed by specific learning difficulties are the most frequent predictors of poor outcomes”.
- “Children who behave poorly and are excluded, those unable to attend a mainstream school and those disengaged from education are a relatively small proportion of pupils. However, they include some of the young people with the worst prospects for success in later life, and most likely to develop problem behaviours” (DCSF, 2007 p84).
- Overall, pupils with SEN achieve less at school academically, and only 16.5% achieve five or more A*-C GCSEs by Key Stage 4, compared to 61.3% of their non-SEN peers (DfE, 2011).
- “…in terms of later life, poverty in childhood is one of the five most powerful and consistent predictors of subsequent disadvantage” (Layard & Dunn, 2009 p133).
- The National CAMHS Review in 2008 reported that “Children and young people who live in families with a lone parent are also more prone to have a diagnosable mental disorder…Just as there are associations with family circumstances there are similar associations with educational attainment, absences from school, school exclusions, strength of friendship networks, physical health and offending behaviour” (DCSF, 2008 p6).
- In their book “The Spirit Level”, Wilkinson and Pickett (2010) argue that in countries where income inequality is large, such as that seen in the United States and the UK, equates with poorer social relationships in communities, worsened mental health, shorter life expectancy, worse physical health e.g. obesity, poorer academic performance and higher teenage pregnancy rates, which contribute to “…an inter-generational cycle of deprivation” (p121).
- Gutman et al (2010) found that 20% of boys between the ages of eight and ten who are from low socio-economic backgrounds, and are low achievers, experience declining or low levels of wellbeing during primary school.
- “At present, a child from a low-income family is three times less likely than average to achieve good results at age 16” (dcsf, 2007 p76).
- “…children from families experiencing multiple disadvantages are: more likely to be rated by their parents as well below average in English and mathematics; more likely to have been suspended or excluded from school; more likely to have poor social networks; and more likely to have been in trouble with the police than children from families with fewer or no family disadvantages” (Social Exclusion Task Force, 2007 p10). The Social Exclusion Task Force (2007 p23) write “Living in a deprived neighbourhood is also associated with an increased risk of poor mental and physical health for parents and behavioural problems for children”.
Resilience has become associated with approaches that tackle the problems outlined above. This brief review of the evidence explores what is meant by the term resilience and gives an overview of what schools can do to foster it in their pupils.
The Resilience Framework is a handy table that summarises ‘what works’ when supporting children and young people’s resilience according to the Resilience Research base. The Resilience Framework forms a cornerstone of our research and practice. On this page we have pulled together lots of useful links so you can find out all about the Resilience Framework.
Communication between autistic and non-autistic speakers: Gemma Williams introduces her fellowship research
Gemma is an autistic Early Career Researcher based at the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice, University of Brighton and a Boingboing volunteer. In this blog Gemma talks about her PhD research, and what she plans to do over the coming year of her fellowship under Prof. Angie Hart’s mentorship.
This evaluation project explores ways to build the capacity of school staff and the commitment of school leaders and other key stakeholders to help them identify and implement specific resilience-based actions using the Academic Resilience Approach.
The Resilience Revolution is delivering an extensive programme of lasting change with disadvantaged young people in the town of Blackpool, through a successful £10.4 million Big Lottery HeadStart funding bid. Their work is based on research into resilience by Boingboing and the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice.
Through this research a team of co-researchers from different generations, professions and backgrounds will co-create knowledge regarding the role of innovative ‘glocal’ civic activism as a mechanism to strengthen young people’s mental health.
Co-produced with parents and carers, the purpose of this research is to better understand what parents/carers in Blackpool think about how schools in their area engage with them and if schools can do more to improve this. We want to make sure that we provide the opportunity for parents/carers to voice their views and to help their children’s learning in school and at home.
Co-produced with a team of ex-offenders this research aims to understand the benefits of employing ex-offenders. We will share our findings with employers who have not yet considered employing ex-offenders as well as creating resources to help them understand what resilient moves they can make when employing ex-offenders.
In this blog Debbie Hatfield, postdoctoral fellow with Boingboing and the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice, talks about her research and what she hopes it will achieve. Debbie’s work includes promoting and developing her PhD findings which looked at patient and public engagement and involvement for commissioning health services.
Co-produced with young people who are part of the Blackpool Resilience Revolution, this research examines how climate change affects the mental wellbeing of young people as well as co-developing resources that aim to increase resilience during climate change.
If you want your PhD research to make a real difference then come and join us. The Centre of Resilience for Social Justice tackles disadvantage and brings genuine change to people’s lives around the world.
This page presents an archive of selected published works from the Boingboing, Resilience Revolution and CRSJ community. This includes key academic papers, submissions of evidence and a few books relevant to the Boingboing approach to resilience.
United we stand is a policy briefing paper produced by all the team members involved in the co-productive research project led by Professor Angie Hart on Youth perspectives on developing resilience to drought in South Africa.
The expertise of young South Africans in coping with drought is being harnessed for this co-productive research project. Our team is working with partners to understand what enables young people to withstand, adapt to, resist or challenge these impacts.
This research project will investigate whether the Resilience Framework operates similarly or differently across diverse contexts in a cross-cultural study, and adapt the Resilience Framework for non-Western life orientations in multiple languages.
Co-production is a value-based approach that views people who use a service as assets with important knowledge and skills. It harnesses this experience, knowledge and skill to promote positive change, and design, produce and deliver better services.
The Imagine Programme brings together different research projects working across universities and their local communities. Using the new knowledge we gather, we are imagining how communities might be different. We are researching, and experimenting with different forms of community-building that ignite imagination about the future and help to build resilience.
Our schools-based resilience research adapts the Resilience Framework for use in schools and helps schools make resilient moves across the whole school community. Many different types of school are working with us on this.
This practitioner research combines support work with young people who have experienced challenging times and the Resilience Framework. By examining the mechanisms that promoted resilience amongst young men who were offending, the study took the Resilience Framework and applied it to the data collected on the young men’s experiences.
The research project also involved a series of collaborative arts workshops in Brighton and Hove, with young people with moderate learning disabilities and young people facing mental health challenges. These workshops explored creativity and ideas of self and belonging.
This is a Collaborative Action Research project using Photo-elicitation to represent kinship carers experiences of trying to use Resilient Therapy and individual interviews with children to find out what helps them through difficult times.