'How To Build Resilience Through Outdoor Adventure'

Resilience is widely recognised as key for optimising educational outcomes. Dr John Allan explains all in this article for Teaching Times.

Resilience is widely recognised as key for optimising educational outcomes. Dr John Allan explains why outdoor adventure learning is an ideal pedagogical tool to help build resilience and adaptability in young people.

The Need for 21st Century Skills

Change is happening faster than can be understood or managed, from our ecological concern for the planet to challenges in welfare and education. Within a global marketplace, a core of highly prized skills collectively known as 21st Century Skills is recognised by academics and governmental and private sector organisations as essential for generating solutions to some of society’s most critical problems. Collectively, these bodies provide evidence illustrating the importance of non-cognitive skills for successful youth development and education.[1][2][3][4]

These skills include young people’s ability to be self-reliant, empathise with others, question how the world works and how it could be, become strong-willed and overcome, and learn from failure. We know that youngsters who score high on psychosocial skills at an early age – as opposed to pure academic skills training – report better adult outcomes in education, employment and mental health.[5]

Resilience: the Fourth 'R' in Education

Resilience comprises a range of positive adaptive behaviours akin to 21st Century Skills that promote cognitive, physical and affective functioning and protect against risks to young people’s well-being. Acquired through supported, progressively demanding challenges, resilience enables young people to combat stress, bounce back from adversity and even follow a trajectory of growth.[6][7]

While resilience does not ensure positive mental health [8][9], resilient behaviours help individuals solve problems, manage work conscientiously and develop positive relationships that nurture a sense of belonging. Resilience has long been recognised as significant in school-based education as an effective policy for developing students’ well-being, promoting both attendance and academic success. [10][11] Many young learners need to become competent not only in how to retain information, but also in how theyself-regulate their behaviours to properly understand it and then use it inassessment situations. Such recognition of the benefits of resilience to learners and educators has led to the construct being referred to as the fourth R in education. [12][13][14]

Resilience for All

Although there are differences in how we respond to adversity, resilience research suggests that resilience comprises a range of strategies that allow learners to adjust their behaviour in difficult situations. Further, having the capacity to share positive experiences with others also suggests that that resilience may be catching...

Read the full article at TeachTimes.com