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Building teacher resilience: Research and potential for teacher education

Mansfield, C. and Beltman, S. (2012) Building teacher resilience: Research and potential for teacher education. In: Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA), 1 - 4 July 2012, Stamford Grand Hotel, Glenelg, South Australia


The field of teacher resilience has attracted significant attention, particularly in countries like Australia where the teaching profession is subject to high rates of attrition and teacher burnout. Research regarding teacher resilience has focused on exploring why teachers remain in the profession, despite ongoing challenges, and the personal and professional characteristics that can sustain them – enabling them to thrive, not simply survive (Beltman, Mansfield & Price, 2011). Despite many studies focusing on teacher resilience, there have been fewer studies exploring how resilience may be developed through teacher education experiences. As teacher education programs are currently in the process of self-reflection in the light of the new National Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL, 2011), it is perhaps timely that consideration be given to how building resilience may form part of this conversation.

This paper reports findings from the ALTC funded project Keeping Cool: Building Teacher Resilience which aimed to investigate graduating and early career teacher resilience to develop a framework for how aspects of resilience may be embedded in teacher education programs. Using data from an extensive literature review, surveys and interviews, four dimensions of the resilient teacher were identified. Each of these dimensions (profession-related, emotional, motivational and social) is discussed with a specific focus on the potential for teacher education. Furthermore, as resilience is a complex and multi-faceted construct sensitive to the contexts of teaching, we explore how teacher education programs may play an important role in the development of teacher resilience for the future.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
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