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Writing Advice for College Students


Look at the careers of high performers-those that are tops in their field.  What common attributes do these people hold?

  • Innovation: check

  • Self-confidence: check

  • Talent: check

  • Discipline: check

  • Patience: check

  • Purpose: check


This raises the question(s) of resiliency in education.

  • Where does resiliency fit in when talking about learning?

  • What opportunities do students have to be resilient when looking at the structure of school and learning?

In looking at the current structure of education, it seems to me that resiliency is an attribute or trait that is often overlooked when educating students.  For example, how often do students get the material immediately and perform well on an assessment?  I am sure there are many who do, but what about the students that do not?  Where is the opportunity or teaching moment for those students about resiliency and the ability to bounce back from a setback? Maybe resiliency is only important to students who see relevance in what they are doing?

Resiliency does not discriminate.  Those that are talented and those that are not will be affected by it in one way or another. However, those with talent have probably been recognized by teachers or parents therefore made to understand that if they keep trying – they will succeed-that the process is what counts.

What about the less successful student who does not have the resources or understanding of what a setback means?  Or, that failure has been ingrained into their learning habits that even the slightest attempt to trying again is met with an overwhelming feeling of giving up?  I think we may being doing students a great disservice by not allowing them to experience what it means to have a setback and then be able to overcome that setback.  School isn’t built that way but learning should be (or at least that’s what I hear preached).

School improvement models, implement, assesses, analyze, re-implement and then reassess all the while gathering data.  What happens to the students who do not get the concept after the just mentioned cycle is performed?  We have not built into student learning the idea of resiliency or the opportunity to do so.  The idea that if you do not get the idea or concept the first time-there is value in persistence.  There is value in seeing an idea through or attaining a certain level of performance.

Take a look at the gaming industry and how that might fit into education.  My son fails over and over and over again while attempting a game but never stops after the first failure because he understands that he can hit “reset” or “redo” in order to get to where he thinks he should be or wants to be.  There is relevancy when looking at the “gamification” of learning and how resiliency is part of that process.

If we see resiliency as an attribute as being valuable then how can we ingrain this into our students?

Stories of people in the business industry, sports industry or any industry for that matter are riddled with resilient people.  People that had talent but what separated them from the others with similar talent was their ability to come back from a setback–in some cases numerous times.  It can be done.  Why not start introducing this concept when students learn?

Will our students succeed at every endeavor?  Probably not.

Where does resiliency have a place in learning so that when our students face a setback and odds are against them that they can gain confidence in knowing that trying and trying and trying again is what will separate them from success and failure?