Supporting children’s resilience: Early childhood educator understandings

Kerryn Archdall
Anna Kilderry
Deakin University

This paper has two aims. First, it examines how children’s resilience is being defined and discussed in literature, and second, it presents findings from a small-scale study that investigated early childhood educator understandings of children’s resilience across the curriculum. Considering resilience as a multifaceted construct, the authors question why children’s resilience should be a focus for educator practice and how research literature is portraying the role of educators in supporting children to become resilient. The findings illustrate that educators in the study had varied understandings of the notion of resilience and how to support children’s resilience. Spontaneous and unplanned teaching strategies were revealed as the educators’ main approach of supporting children’s resilience. There was also some uncertainty about how to identify resilience according to educators in the study. The study’s findings raise critical implications and questions for the early childhood sector, one of these being: Is the fostering and supporting of children’s resilience too important an educational issue to be left to the fate of spontaneous incidents to arise in practice?

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 41 Number 3 September 2016.

Don’t forget, the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood is tax deductible for early childhood professionals.