Dispositions in Resilience Education

Posted on Apr 6, 2015 in Presentations, Reflections on Counseling

Middle School Educators Conference 2015 Homepage

Breakout Session Presentation for Educators entitled “Dispositions for Resiliency”

Description: Among the key life attributes we strive for with our students is for them to be resilient in the face of  adversity and challenge. While there has never been a better time for children to develop excellence across a myriad of domains, we seem to be facing new difficulties with regard to dealing with pressure, set-backs, and failure. Come to this session to take a closer look at resilience in the context of 21st century learning practices, parenting, and what we should be doing to help our kids.

dispositions for resiliency

As you can see in the open and shared resources below this workshop was organized into three parts.

Part 1 Overview of Resiliency

Resilience has been defined as “a protective mechanism thought to emerge from specific personality features, such as self-esteem, or from aspects of social support and adaptive coping resources and strategies” (Mummery, Schofield & Perry, 2004).

  • Why are we so interested in resilience education?
  • How does Aaron Antonovsky’s idea of downstream bias invite us to consider coping differently?
  • The developmental asset model from the Search Institute provides a useful framework through which to consider some of the possible protective factors either present or missing from our student’s lives.
  • Aaron Antonovsky’s Sense of Coherence helps us evaluate the kind of information and approaches to situations that our students access to demonstrate resiliency in the face of challenge. See slide #7 below regarding understanding, empowerment, and value in action.
  • From there we linked this to the development of dispositions which foster sense of coherence and internal assets integrated as part of a person’s identity.

Part 2 Delving Deeper into Resilience

Resiliency What Should Schools

  • Facilitated experience with potential for real success and real failure can contribute to the development of dispositions for resiliency. This is supported both by reflecting through the experiential learning process and meaningful opportunities for failure.
  • Authentic academic assessment and scaffolding for success with the value of failure in mind were briefly addressed but worthy of much further consideration.
  • Resilience through sport, lessons from service learning, perfectionism, and parenting were other aspects considered, supported with additional resources, and explored through provocative questions.

Part 3 Next Steps

Unfortunately due to a very short 60 minute time-frame this section of the conversation needed to be tabled but is critical in moving the dialogue further.

Breakout Session Materials

  • Workshop Collaborative Document (Link)
  • Workshop Background Slides (Link)


Mummery, W, Schofield, G & Perry, C 2004, ‘Bouncing back: the role of coping style, social support and self-concept in resilience of sport performance’, Athletic Insight – Online Journal of Sport Psychology, vol. 6, no. 3.

About the Author – I am middle school counselor at Yokohama International School and regularly present on social/emotional topics related to 21st century learning in international education. Please contact me to have me work with your students or faculty on resiliency or other themes you find of interest on my website. – Adam

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