Teacher resilience better for the classroom

September 13, 2017

Resilient teachers: Better motivated, committed and engaged

Murdoch University has developed a program to boost teacher resilience that is linked to efforts to retain quality teachers in the classroom.

The University has also led the way in teacher education by embedding the program in the curriculum for education undergraduates.

Associate Professor Caroline Mansfield from the School of Education led the team which developed an online interactive learning program that helps teachers build awareness of the skills and practices that will help promote their own resilience.

She said that many primary and secondary schools have a focus on building resilience for students, but the Murdoch program recognised that this skill was vital for teachers also.

“Teacher resilience is important because research shows that resilient teachers have stronger motivation, commitment, engagement and job fulfilment. This is likely to improve the quality of teaching which has a positive influence on student outcomes.

“The BRiTE program is about building up a set of personal resilience assets for each teacher to own, that helps them manage relationships, wellbeing, and their emotions.”

It is an engaging balance of self-quizzes, theory and teacher videos showcasing practical advice. Users can also build their own resilience tool-kit. Evaluations show it earned a positive rating of 4.17 out of 5.0 from pre-service teachers and teacher educators, and increased the resilience of pre service teachers on practicums.

Professor Mansfield also received a Federal Government National Teaching Fellowship to work with 5 inter-state universities and extend the BRiTE work nationally.

“It’s well recognised that teaching can be a highly challenging and complex profession and the figures for teacher attrition are quite concerning,” she said.

“There are many complex circumstances that lead to teacher stress and burnout. However, we can help better prepare graduates to manage the professional challenges they face so that they keep their passion for teaching and maintain job fulfilment.

Professor Mansfield is building a national and international advocates network for the promotion of teacher resilience.

For more information visit www.brite.edu.au and www.stayingbrite.edu.au.

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