In this fourth post in a series about comprehensive student assessment, I’m taking on the subject of resilience and how it is we can both teach and assess students in this area. I’ve been arguing throughout this series that holistic assessment should always incorporate widely used standardized testing, but that it’s only one measure among several (Learning, Relationships, Resiliencies and Behaviors) that should be leveraged to really understand student readiness for learning and life in the 21 Century.
Indeed, resilience is something every person must develop, if only because so much about life today changes with much greater velocity than ever before. The ability to both respond to and embrace change is at the very heart of resilience, which is why developing this trait should be a priority for the educational mission.
At Pathbrite, we believe the five key components of resilience are:
Teachers can incorporate the learning of resilience even as they teach core curricula. They can leverage educational technologies like e-Portfolios to enable students to reflect on how it is they’re looking forward, and teachers to assess whether those reflections indicate, for instance, an optimistic outlook. The ability of student’s to overcome natural or learned fears, and to instead imagine positive outcomes, in order to achieve an important goal is a vital ability and enables the process of learning to boot.
Educators can also set up exercises where students work together to solve problems in ways that rely on empathy, and assessing and accurately interpreting the emotional states of themselves and their fellow students. Being able to put oneself into another’s shoes is critical to effective teamwork, problem solving and invention. And the development of skills to both identify and regulate emotional states will determine the degree to which a person can be successful in life.
Activities including sports or other team-oriented exercises can be used to both build and rely on trust. By documenting and reflecting back on individual and team performance, students can begin to understand how trust in one’s teammates can make or break an outcome.
And, of course, faculty can use iterative processes to not only encourage student growth in a core area of instruction or learning, but to teach and assess a student’s perseverance toward achieving a desired outcome. By encouraging not only success, but also failure, teachers can help their students to learn from undesirable outcomes and then try, try again.
Throughout, the documentary process enabled by e-Portfolios provides not only a framework for prospective and retrospective reflection, but also for assessment. And that assessment can come from the students themselves, their teachers and their parents. From that reflection and assessment can flow new insights into appropriate educational and career pathways that support personal growth based on each student’s own needs.
Life in the 21 Century is full of wonder, surprise, and delight. But it also presents challenges past generations could only imagine. In order for our future citizens to embrace the many amazing aspects of a fast-evolving world, while also navigating the many pitfalls, the degree to which they’ve mastered resilience will determine their success – and their happiness – in life.
While we’re at it, we owe it to learners to teach them how to build and cultivate their own resiliencies.
Originally Posted On: LinkedIN By: Heather Hiles
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