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Thoughts Gove’s 7 Pillars Resilience
UK’s disadvantaged kids among the least likely to succeed in global study  I caught mention of this report from the OECD on the Today programme. It makes for depressing reading. The research shows that the UK is well below the average in rankings of the ‘resilience’ of it’s most disadvantaged students. Resilient pupils are those that, “succeed against the odds”, beating their peers from similar socio-economic backgrounds in terms of achievement, and being in the top quarter of similar students internationally. The international average for students showing resilience is 31%, for the UK just 24% of students fall into such a category. This puts the UK 35th in the list of 65 countries and regions (click the image on the right to enlarge). You will note that some countries / regions get the majority of their disadvantaged students to show resilience- to gain levels of achievement that rank them in the top 25% internationally for students of a similar socio-economic background. Motivation and Self-confidence The publication stresses the need for sufficient time in a classroom with a teacher. It also highlights the importance of student motivation and self- confidence. It states that students’ self-confidence in their own abilities was closely linked to resilience: It’s Dweck time The report concludes that, “All of these findings suggest that schools may have an important role to play in fostering resilience. They could start by providing more opportunities for disadvantaged students to learn in class by developing activities, classroom practices and teaching methods that encourage learning and foster motivation and self-confidence among those students. High-quality mentoring programmes, for example, have been shown to be particularly beneficial. Focusing these activities on disadvantaged students is crucial, as they are the students who are least likely to receive this support elsewhere.” Dweck’s ideas about Mindset give us a tangible model in which to place these findings, and a mechanism by which we can develop the self-confidence and motivation of students. The report begins by posing the reader a question: “Are socio-economically disadvantaged students condemned to perpetuate an intergenerational cycle of poor academic achievement, poor job prospects and poverty?” A focus on developing growth mindsets in learners can only improve resilience, and go some way towards saying preventing the perpetuation of inequality.
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