Enhancing Resilience Through Teacher Education
Start date: Sep 1, 2016,
End date: Aug 31, 2018
This project comes at an opportune time as Europe is facing challenges related to economic deprivation, migration and social cohesion amongst others. Project ENRETE seeks to promote equity, social inclusion and active citizenship through inclusive education and a strengths-based, resilience approach at a time when the economic and social changes in Europe pose considerable challenges to economic growth, social cohesion and psychological wellbeing of citizens and communities, particularly the most vulnerable ones (http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/strategic-framework/index_en.htm ). Project ENRETE seeks to improve the quality and relevance of higher education by focusing on the development of innovative curricula with high relevance to Europe’s current socio-economic context. The objective is to develop teacher competencies at masters’ level in an area of specialisation, namely resilience in education, which has received relatively attention in higher teacher education. The overall aim of the project is to contribute to the creation of learning environments through teacher education that promote the resilience and growth of disadvantaged learners by providing them with the tools, resources and learning contexts which facilitate their academic and social and emotional learning and consequently their social inclusion and active citizenship. To achieve this aim, the project will develop a set of modules constituting a teachers’ training program at Masters level, tailored to build up educators’ competence in responding and addressing the academic, social and emotional needs of learners at risk, particularly learners from ethnic, linguistic, and migrant communities, from socio-economic disadvantage, and learners with learning difficulties and special educational needs. More specifically the project will lead to the output of various resilience education modules at masters level, making use of both face to face and online training, which will enable teachers to develop the competencies to support learners to learn the requisite resilience skills to overcome difficulties and grow academically, socially and emotionally, to create inclusive and resilience-enhancing classroom communities, and to participate and contribute to a whole school approach to resilience enhancement, including working with and supporting parents. A set of eight modules will be developed in the first year which will be then evaluated with 100 teachers from the whole partnership. Following evaluation of the pilot and both internal and external evaluation, the modules will be made published electronically in 6 languages in both face to face and online modes. These will be available for institutions of higher education and teacher education to include in their own programmes. The modules will also be the basis of a collaborative European Masters in Resilience in Education which will be launched following the end of this project project, once funding is secured. It is envisaged that the long term benefits of the project, once the modules start being implemented in teacher education programmes and consequently translated into classroom practice, will include a reduction in absenteeism, early school leaving, discrimination and bullying, disengagement and school failure, and social exclusion, particularly amongst vulnerable groups such as children coming from low SES, ethnic minorities, migrants, as well as children with special educational needs.. This will be particularly true of the partners taking place in the project, but through the dissemination and exploitation strategy, there will be a multiplier effect, with other countries and regions becoming interested in the masters programme. As a consequence resilience education will become an integral part of mainstream education in Europe, with classrooms across Europe operating as inclusive, resilience building, health promoting and growth enhancing communities for all children, including the most vulnerable ones, from the first years of early education. By seeking to create more inclusive and growth-enhancing communities, particularly amongst vulnerable populations, as well as providing the psychological resources to children at risk to overcome adversity and disadvantage from an early age, the project would contribute towards more social cohesion and harmonious relationships amongst the diversity of communities in Europe, promoting equity and social inclusion through a resilience building approach at both individual and systems levels. The long term impact will thus an increase in the quality of life of vulnerable children, families and communities, through social and economic growth.
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