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Wednesday, June 22 • 13:30 - 14:20
CON02.10 - Learning to Bounce: Using 'Wise Interventions' in the Classroom to Teach Resilience

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Among parents, teachers, and university administrators, there is a growing concern that today's undergraduates are lacking resilience--an essential skill that allows students to become fully empowered learners. Current research explores how resilient behaviours might be learned in the university classroom and how activities aimed at developing student resilience could form a part of any course's curriculum. This workshop will explore how instructors can help their students to become more resilient learners through the use of what Gregory Walton (2014) terms “wise interventions”—stealthy and focused interventions in the classroom whose aim is to change specific psychological processes that inhibit students from thriving.

This workshop will begin by introducing Stanford University's “Resilience Project” and the Resilience Research Consortium to which Stanford and other universities across North America belong. These schools believe that resilience is skill that can be taught and have undertaken the important work of finding ways of teaching resilience to undergraduates. Next, I will briefly discuss my own “Bounce Project” and my SOTL research (funded by my university’s Learning and Teaching Centre) that uses Walton’s study of “wise interventions” to increase resilience in undergraduates. I will then ask small groups of participants to work together to share their understandings of what it means to be resilient and to behave resiliently. We will then come back together to share our ideas and to better understand what we mean when we discuss resilience in the context of an academic environment. What kinds of resilient behaviours do they as teachers model in the classroom? What kinds of “wise interventions” could they include in their own curriculum? What kinds of “wise interventions” have they tried? We will then once again engage in a group discussion and share our findings with each other in an effort to find ways to teach resilience to our students. By helping our students to become more resilient, to help them see resilience as a skill that can be learned, we are not only empowering our students for the duration of their academic careers, but we are also effecting lasting and life-long change.


Rebecca Gagan

Rebecca Gagan is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of English at The University of Victoria.

Wednesday June 22, 2016 13:30 - 14:20 EDT
UCC 65