2 key building blocks to improve the resilience of your students

We suggest 2 key building blocks to improve the resilience, mental health and learning mindset of your students, 1. Use a practical measurement tool; and 2. Commit to a process.


1.               Use Practical Measurement

More than 800 schools across Australia use the Resilience Survey year on year because it is a uniquely practical tool, leading to direct positive action.

Resilient Youth was established with the vision to provide teachers and Principals with a valid and reliable measure of resilience, with results reported clearly and in rapid turnaround, supported by consultation and advice.

As a practical measure, the Resilience Survey is distinct from the “top down” instruments commonly used by governments and schools for the purpose of control and accountability, such as the Attitudes to School Survey, or by academics and researchers more concerned with theory development and defence.

Instead, the Resilience Survey offers a valid and rapid way for schools and communities to inform their intentional resilience building efforts in real-time, through student voice.

Crucially (and uniquely), our instrument also includes a world class measure of youth mental health. Do you know the Mental Health levels of your female and male students by year level? Who is an avoidant learner? Who is an anxious learner? This is practical information essential for creating classrooms full of students who are locked-on to learning.

In choosing a survey tool ask yourself:
a. does it capture student voice?
b. is it a valid and reliable measure?
c. can your results be benchmarked against Australian norms?
d. will it provide detailed, contextual, and targeted data; in other words, does it provide actionable information?
e. does it capture and report variation over time?
f. are the results provided in a timely manner?
g. does the survey provider offer support through the process of interpreting, and acting upon the data collected (this is a deal-breaker!)?

2.               Commit to a multi-year process

We began to collect and report resilience data to students, teachers, parents, schools, councils and state governments five years ago. We quickly realized, no matter the audience, that Dr. Eileen Depka in her book The Data Guidebook for Teachers and Leaders: Tools for Continuous Improvement, is 100% right: “Without a process, data analysis can be only an event. Time is spent viewing and analysing data, but there is no intended result other than to comment on what is observed. Although time is not wasted, data viewed without a process will not likely become a catalyst for change”.

We work closely with many schools, public, private and denominational, to create classrooms full of resilient students bursting with a Learner’s Mindset. A powerful way to achieve this, and enhance educational engagement and academic outcomes, is to commit to a data informed multi-year process, led by a committed school Leadership Group.

If you would like to learn more about how you can use the Resilience Survey at your school, please email me at: andrew.w@resilientyouth.org.au

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Andrew Wicking