Teacher Resilience in an Era of Risk: New insights and directions for future research

Time Thursday 17:15 - 18:45
Location VMP8 - Room 208
Speakers Madalinska-Michalak, Joanna; Assunção Flores, Maria; Beutel, Denise; Ebersöhn, Liesel; Qu, Qing
Chair Joanna Madalinska-Michalak

The session aims at being a forum to present and discuss latest research findings on teacher resilience under given social conditions. It brings together international research conducted in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The session enriches relevant theory and research in the field of teacher professional development, teacher education and school leadership. The attention is paid to issue of structural processes that enable and constrain teacher resilience.

In the session innovative approaches to exploring teacher resilience are highlighted as well as directions for future research. The contributors to the session aim to answer the following questions:

  • What kind of research is important regarding the issue of teacher resilience in era of risk?
  • What are the factors that influence the resilience process?
  • How can educational systems – operating under conditions of uncertainty – provide a basis for the development of the capacities that are needed for becoming resilience teachers?

Qing Gu builds upon but extends current understanding of resilience in teachers by exploring the nature of teacher resilience from a social ecological perspective. The research upon which the paper is based adopted a mixed-methods design involving a sample of 455 primary and secondary school teachers in Beijing. Her paper reports results from the questionnaire analyses. The analyses revealed robust underlying dimensions of school leadership, relational and organisational conditions and their direct and indirect effects on resilience in teachers.

Maria Assunçăo Flores reports on a study which sheds additional light upon the factors that influence teachers’ capacity to be resilient, not only in their early stages, as much of extant literature focuses on, but in all phases of the teaching career, especially experienced teachers. Data were collected through a national survey (n=2702 teachers), focus group (n=99 teachers) and interviews to 11 school principals in Portugal. Findings suggest the connection between teacher commitment and resilience which are associated with issues of school culture and leadership, a sense of vocation, and teachers’ beliefs and professional values.

Denis Beutel reports on qualitative research conducted with preservice teachers in a graduate entry teacher education program in eastern Australia as they prepared for their professional experience in primary school contexts. A social-ecological lens was used to explore the personal strategies and contextual resources that the preservice teachers drew upon to manage the workload demands and stresses of teaching that impacted on both their personal and professional lives. Professional experience contexts were also identified as central in facilitating or inhibit preservice teacher resilience.

Liesel Ebersöhn deliberates that teacher resilience of in-service teachers in remote schools can be promoted through professional development in higher education engagement. She argues that higher education engagement brings professional development opportunities to isolated teachers, culminating in better than expected teacher resilience outcomes. She draws on retrospective narrative data and posits that macro-system constraints inherent to structural disparity can be addressed by tapping into macro-level structural opportunities afforded by higher education.

Joanna Madalińska-Michalak, on the basis of her own qualitative research on school principals leadership and school improvement in times of change, discusses the forms and practices of school principals who take care of teacher resilience. Joanna concludes that resilience in teachers can be nurtured by school principal leadership by creating the conditions for the development of the school workplace in the psychological, intellectual, social and organisational dimensions. Authentic and positive leadership, where the facilitation of good relationships, and the responsibility for dialogue between individuals and groups are needed for enabling teachers to sustain their commitment and effectiveness over their professional lives, in contexts of challenge and change.

The session is significant for the following Networks 01, 10, 22, 26, 27 and 32.

EERA Going Green

As part of the commitment of EERA to ensuring that our annual European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) is as sustainable as possible, we were delighted to work with the local organisers of our Hamburg 2019 conference to develop our 'Green Agenda'.  Watch this videoto learn more!

To cover and document the conference from a student’s perspective, Josephine Hohberg, a masterstudent in Hamburg, will blog and report on her #ECER2019 experience.
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Upcoming ECERs

ECER'24, Nicosia
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