Friday, 12 February 2016

Profiling pupils for resilience

Bounce Back is a classroom resiliency programme devised by two Australian psychologists - Dr Helen McGrath and Dr Toni Noble. They are both former teachers who now work in teacher training colleges.

"Bounce Back is based on a two-prong approach to resilience."

Environmental Factors

"The first prong recognises the importance of external factors in a person`s life that help them feel resilient and cope with life`s inevitable ups and downs."

Personal Coping Skills

"The second prong in the Bounce Back approach to building young people`s resilience in the classroom is to develop their personal coping skills. The specific ways they suggest include encouraging more optimism, use of humour and acceptance. McGrath and Noble add to these a number of other coping skills which are vital for resilience."
"The authors have been influenced by the Positive Psychology movement. They are aware of the dangers of deliberate, artificial attempts to build young people's self-esteem and Bounce Back doesn't include the 'all about me' type of activities which can encourage too much self-focus."
Well, I`m not sure about that.

A study was conducted to ascertain the impact of the Bounce Back programme on resilience, connectedness and wellbeing of children and teachers in sixteen primary schools in Perth and Kinross, Scotland.

Data was obtained from pupils and teachers before and after the programme in order to test its efficacy. No attempt was made to anonymise the data.

Some of the questions were highly intrusive:

  • When a bad thing happens to me, it`s impossible to find anything funny or good about it.
  • Even when I know something can`t be changed, I still get really upset about it.
  • When something goes wrong in one part of my life, I think about the parts of my life that are still good.
  • If something bad could happen I don`t worry too much about it because it probably won`t.
  • If you try, you can change your feelings, even if you`re upset.
What happened to this data ?

Schools are becoming experimental laboratories and places to construct pupils` psychological profiles. It goes way beyond the original purpose of education.

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