ERG SES G 11, Context and Content in Education
The main goal of this proposal is to explore for future mapping the concept of resilient schools, through a comprehensive document analysis of Master dissertations and PhD thesis that are approaching this concept (White et al., 2013; Lillejord & Børte, 2016). Therefore we aim to: i) list subject areas which are studying resilient schools; ii) identify approaches, cultures and practices that characterize resilient schools; iii) analyze how resilient schools promote educational pathways of young people; iv) study the place of resilient schools within educational research. What is the role of resilient schools in contemporary times, facing reforming education and the imperative of constant change (ECER 2017 Conference Theme)? it is a question that we pretend to answer. This proposal is part of a PhD Project about resilient schools in Portuguese border regions and perspectives of young people about their educational pathways. This PhD Project is embedded in a national research project on “Young people, Education and Border Regions” under development at University of Porto. It is important to notice that Portuguese border regions are peripheral and mainly rural, characterized by economic and cultural constraints, less educational and employment opportunities (Silva, 2014). We are focusing the concept of resilient schools, also considering that schools in these regions experience another standpoint when facing contemporary challenges: their geographic condition of borderland.
In fact, educational systems in different European contexts are facing several challenges, from older to more recent challenges. Since 1970s and 1980s-1990s respectively, schools are facing structural inequalities associated to social class, and to gender, ethnicity and minority background of their youth and community (Stoer & Cortesão, 1995; Bourdieu, 2010; Young, 2011). Furthermore, the uncertainty of youth transitions increased and young trajectories became more precarious and vulnerable (Furlong & Cartmel, 1997; Silva, 2010; Serracant, 2015). With economic and financial crisis there was an increase on the vulnerability of youth trajectories (Serracant, 2015) and a confidence crisis about school and diplomas for future. Additionally, European schools are experiencing different educational reforms (EU, 2016). Particularly on the Portuguese case, we identify changes, namely, on internal and external monitoring and a bigger focus on citizenship and intercultural education as ways to improve quality and equity in education (EU, 2016; Fernandes et al., 2016).
In this way, the concept of resilient schools is studied within the frame of these challenges and changes that schools are facing.
Resiliency has been mainly studied related to individuals (Luthar et al., 2000; Fergus & Zimmerman, 2005). However, we will work the concept from an organizational perspective, trying to contribute to the body of knowledge on resilient schools (Whitney et al., 2012; Phillips et al., 2014). Resilient schools mean that “organizations and systems can also perform above expectations given their high stress and/or high risk environments and can be considered resilient” (Whitney et al., 2012: 35), shifting the focus from individuals’ resilience. Following an ecological approach, some of factors accounting to schools’ resilience would be a solid leadership or school-community networking (Esquivel et al., 2011; Ungar, 2012; Whitney et al., 2012; Schelvis et al., 2014). Empirical evidence suggests that resilient schools have a positive impact on their own success as organizations and on the success of their students in terms of academic results and youth educational pathways (Esquivel et al., 2011; Whitney et al., 2012; Schelvis et al., 2014).
We pretend to contribute to new understandings on schools when discussing the concept of resilience and to reframe the concept of resilient schools in itself, from an educational perspective.
Bourdieu, P. (2010). A Distinção: Uma Crítica Social da Faculdade do Juízo [translation Pedro Elói]. Lisboa: Edições 70. Bowen, G. (2009). Document Analysis as a Qualitative Research Method. Qualitative Research Journal, 9(2), 27-40. Esquivel, G., et al. (2011). Introduction to the special issue: Resilience in schools. Psychology in the Schools, 48(7), 649-651. European Union (2016). Education and Training: Monitor 2016. Retrieved at December 22 from https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/education/files/monitor2016_en.pdf. Fergus, S., & Zimmerman, M. (2005). Adolescent Resilient: A Framework for Understanding Healthy Development in the Face of Risk. Annual Review of Public Health, 26(1), 399–419. Fernandes, P., et al. (2016). A Avaliação das Escolas: Políticas, Perspetivas e Práticas [Foreward]. Educação Sociedade & Culturas, 47, 7-10. Furlong, A., & Cartmel, F. (1997). Risk and Uncertainty in the Youth Transition. Young, 5(1), 3-20. Lillejord, S., & Børte, K. (2016). Partnership in Teacher Education – a Research Mapping. European Journal of Teacher Education, 39(5), 550-563. Luthar, S., et al. (2000). The Construct of Resilience: A Critical Evaluation and Guidelines for Future Work. Child Development, 71(3), 543-562. Phillips, M., et al. (2014). Exploring Resiliency Within Schools: an Investigation of the Effects of Protective Factors. Youth & Society, 46(1), 89-111. Punch, K. (2014). Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative & Qualitative Approaches. Thousand Oaks: SAGE. Schelvis, R., et al. (2014). Exploring Teacher and School Resilience as a New Perspective to Solve Persistent Problems in the Educational Sector. Teachers and Teaching, 20(5), 622-637. Serracant, P. (2015). The Impact of the Economic Crisis on Youth Trajectories: A Case Study from Southern Europe. Young, 23(1), 39-58. Silva, S. M. (2010). Da Casa da Juventude aos Confins do Mundo: Etnografia de Fragilidades, Medos e Estratégias Juvenis. Porto: Edições Afrontamento. Silva, S. M. (2014). Growing up in a Portuguese Borderland. In S. Spyrou & M. Christou (Eds.), Children and Borders (62-77). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Stoer, S., & Cortesão, L. (1995). Critical Inter/multicultural Education and the Transnationalisation Process: A View from the Semiperiphery. Journal of Education Policy, 10(4), 373-384. Ungar, M. (2012). Social Ecologies and Their Contribution to Resilience. In M. Ungar (Ed.), The Social Ecology of Resilience: A Handbook of Theory and Practice (13-31). New York: Springer. White, G., et al. (2013). Grey Literature in Australian Education. The Grey Journal, 9(2), 103-108. Whitney, S., et al. (2012). Resilient Schools: Connections between Districts and Schools. Middle Grades Research Journal, 7(3), 35-50. Young, M. (2011). What are schools for?. Educação, Sociedade & Culturas, 32, 145-155.
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