Building Resilience in Children and Young People Promoting Positive Relationships Teacher Professional Development Promoting Positive Relationships Positive relationships promote student wellbeing and engagement in learning Effective approaches to building resilience include an emphasis on fostering positive teacher-student and peer relationships Relational aspects of this approach include: • Positive approaches to managing student behaviour • Positive and supportive teacher-student relationships • Positive and supportive student-student relationships • Strategies to identify and address bullying • High but achievable expectations for student learning and behaviour Promoting Positive Relationships Positive teacher-student relationships promote learning Teacher interpersonal behavior has a powerful effect on levels of student engagement Research shows that positive teacher-student relationships are significantly associated with increased: • Behavioural engagement: participation, punctuality, concentration and effort applied to tasks • Emotional engagement: students are enthusiastic and keen to learn • Cognitive engagement: students are able to formulate their own learning goals, and believe in the importance of their academic achievements Promoting Positive Relationships Positive teacher-student relationships are especially important for students ‘at risk’ • • • A meta-analysis of 99 research studies found that positive teacherstudent relationships were linked to increased student engagement and achievement, and negative teacher-student relationships were linked to poorer student engagement and achievement Students labeled as ‘at risk’ were more strongly influenced by the quality of the teacher-student relationship than those labeled ‘normative’ The motivating effect of positive teacher-student relationships is even greater for high school students than for younger children Roorda et al., 2011 Promoting Positive Relationships Teacher interpersonal style and engagement • • Students’ perceptions of teachers’ interpersonal behaviour are strongly associated with student engagement Two critical factors influence high engagement including the perception by students that : the teacher has positive authority and influence over the class and the teacher trusts, respects and has positive regard for the students • Students appreciate it when their teachers are firm in their class management, whilst also demonstrating a friendly, fair and respectful manner Van Uden et al. 2014 Promoting Positive Relationships The ‘little things’ that teachers do that make a difference to student resilience • • Johnson’s longitudinal research with students in South Australia highlights the importance of everyday interactions between students and teachers Students said it is ‘little things’ that teachers do that make a big difference, such as: listening to students explaining things when asked and helping them with school work maintaining hope and encouragement for progress in the student’s learning treating students with respect • Encouragement, assistance and formative feedback helps keep students on track Johnson 2008 Promoting Positive Relationships Students say it’s good when teachers: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • treat you with respect still speak to you when they don’t teach you anymore smile and say hello take an interest in you notice when you try notice when you’re down encourage you make work interesting let you make mistakes know your name talk to everyone trust you like you celebrate sometimes set practical activities have fun Cahill et al., 2004 Promoting Positive Relationships Students say it is bad when teachers: • • • • • • • • • • • • yell blame you when it was someone else refuse to believe you talk on and on make sarcastic jokes tell you you’re a bad class have favorites hold up your mistakes embarrass you in front of the class put you down tease you compare you to your brothers or sisters Cahill et al., 2004 Promoting Positive Relationships Building Positive Relationships One way in which the activities in the Building Resilience SEL lesson materials encourage students and teachers to strengthen their relationships is through working to increase the awareness of the strengths of every person in the classroom The activity in the next slide provides an example: Promoting Positive Relationships Group Activity: Qualities that I admire •Think about a person that you admire, or respect in some way. This must be someone who you have actually met in person. They might be someone close to you, such as a relative, friend or colleague Example: •Draw a stick figure. In the space around the person, brainstorm the ‘qualities’ or ‘strengths’ or things that you admire about this person •Share the qualities you chose with a person sitting nearby This activity has been adapted from the Level 7-8 Building Resilience learning materials (Topic 2: Personal Strengths, Activity 1) Promoting Positive Relationships Positive peer relationships •The quality of peer relationships significantly influences students’ overall experience of school •Positive peer relationships (friendship, support and inclusion) are a protective factor linked to positive educational outcomes, reduced risk taking and mitigation of other existing risk factors •Negative peer relationships, such as those related to bullying, have a significant negative impact on student wellbeing Holfve-Sabel, 2014 Promoting Positive Relationships Group Activity: Sharing Acts of Kindness 1.Close your eyes and remember a time when you were friendly to another adult or to someone in your family. What were you doing? 2.Share the memory with the person next to you. Share some ideas with the group 3.Choose one friendship act which you have completed at some time, and draw a picture of this 4.Add a caption or short story to go with your picture 5.Arrange a ‘gallery showing’ and explanation of the pictures What practices do teachers in this school use to show kindness to each other and to their students, and to encourage students to show kindness to each other? *Students develop awareness of their strengths by sharing stories of themselves initiating kind actions. This sharing builds a sense of pride and recognition of the importance of caring in friendship and families This activity comes from the Level 1-2 Building Resilience learning materials (Topic 1: Emotional Literacy, Activity 4) Promoting Positive Relationships Bullying in Australian Schools Bullying is one of the top 5 issues of concern for young people aged 11-14 and a common concern for children aged 5-14 calling kidshelpline 1 in 10 Australian young people experience cyberbullying every few weeks or more often More than 1 in 4 Year 4-9 students Experience bullying Promoting Positive Relationships Group Reflection • Where is bullying happening in your school? • Which students are most affected by bullying? • What bullying prevention and response strategies are in place in your school? • Are there patterns of racist or homophobic bulling which need strategic attention? • How is the school helping students to form positive relationships across divides of age, culture, gender, ethnicity, religion or interests? Promoting Positive Relationships Bullying and Mental Health Both bulliers and victims are more likely to suffer from mental health problems Dake et al. (2003) found that: • Bulliers are over 4 times more likely to suffer depression and over 3 times more likely to suffer anxiety. They are also more likely to suffer poor physical health, fight, cheat, use drugs, vandalise, truant, carry a weapon, get in trouble with the police, date earlier and be more aggressive to dating partners • Victims of bullying are 4 times more likely to suffer depression and to experience physical health symptoms, loneliness and negative self-esteem • Those who are bulliers and victims are over 6 times more likely to suffer from depression and over 8 times more likely to suffer from anxiety Dake et al., 2003 Promoting Positive Relationships Promoting Positive Peer Relationships- What does the Research Say? • A meta-analysis of 44 bullying prevention evaluations found the following program elements to be associated with a decrease in bullying and victimisation: Intensive programs (e.g. number of hours) Programs with longer duration Programs including parent meetings Firm disciplinary methods Improved playground supervision • Other research highlights the importance of a systematic whole-school approach to prevent and manage bullying Ttofi and Farrington 2011 Promoting Positive Relationships Components of a whole school approach to bullying prevention/response • • • • • • • • • • • • • • teacher training improved playground supervision positive disciplinary methods cooperative group work between professionals school assemblies information for parents parent training or meetings classroom rules and classroom management whole-school anti-bullying policy supportive school culture proactive policies, procedures and practices shared school community key understandings and competencies protective school environment school–family–community partnerships Farrington and Ttofi (2011) Promoting Positive Relationships Group Activity: Help-seeking Scenarios What are the possible helping or help-seeking actions students could take. For each scenario, discuss: • What could other students do to help? • What could s/he do? • Who could s/he ask to help? Scenario 1: Hamish is often ignored by the other students and is sometimes teased and laughed at. The teacher does not know that this is happening as no-one teases him in front of the teacher Scenario 2: A teacher is concerned about a colleague who is showing signs of stress and burnout, but is not sure whether to say something to this colleague or to the school leadership What could the teacher do to help? How should they respond to a help-seeking student? How should they respond to a distressed colleague? This activity comes from the Level 3-4 Building Resilience SEL learning materials (Topic 6: Helpseeking, Activity 2) Promoting Positive Relationships Group Activity: Using Strengths in Ethical Dilemmas Example scenario: WORRIED Annabelle is worried about a friend who is down. She has not bounced back since her relationship broke up six months ago. The friend has confided in her that she has suicidal thoughts, but she asked her to promise not to tell anyone, especially not her mother. But now Annabelle is really worried about whether she should keep this promise. • What could Annabelle do? Identify the positives and negatives of each choice, then propose a piece of advice • Identify which strengths you think that someone would need to call on to carry out the advice (e.g. perspective, bravery, persistence, integrity) • Check your advice: Is it safe? Could anyone come to harm? Is it legal? Is it fair? How will it affect others? How will you feel about it afterwards? • Collect responses from the group This activity has been adapted from the Level 9-10 Building Resilience SEL materials (Topic 2: Personal Strengths, Activity 2) Promoting Positive Relationships Group Activity: Active Listening and Peer Support Active listening involves the listener in feeding back what they hear to the speaker, putting what they have heard in a summary in their own words. This allows the speaker to correct them if they have misunderstood or shows the speaker that they were understood. It can also help the speaker to clarify what they are thinking or trying to communicate. Active listening can also involve picking up on the person's body language and emotion and feeding back on that. It is a way of showing that you understand what the speaker is saying or feeling. 1. Work in pairs to try out the active listening technique 2. Person A will be the speaker, and Person B the active listener 3. Person A should think of something they want to complain about. Person B should ask them how they are, then Person A begins their complaint, and Person B tries out the active listening technique 4. Role swap, then ask for feedback on how it felt for the speaker and for the active listener This activity has been adapted from the Years 11-12 Building Resilience SEL materials (Topic 3: Positive self-talk: Dealing with performance challenges, Activity 3) Promoting Positive Relationships Group Activity: Explaining How You Feel Making Assertive ‘I’ statements: Feeling first: I feel (say how you feel) when (make your request here) Situation first: When (state the action),I feel (make your request here) (state the action), so (say how you feel), so . • Put the group into pairs and ask them to help each other to design and practice an ‘Assertive I statement’ that is relevant in their life. • Ask some volunteer pairs to perform one of their ‘I’ statements and then ask the group to give feedback: Was the character being assertive? What did they do well? What could they have done differently? This activity is adapted from the Years 11-12 Building Resilience SEL materials (Topic 5: Safer Socialising, Activity 2) Promoting Positive Relationships REFLECT •What do you do to get to know the students in your classes? •What do you do to help them to get to know each other? •How do you transmit the fact that you care about their wellbeing and learning? •What do you do when you observe instances of bullying? Promoting Positive Relationships Useful Links • Bully Stoppers (DEECD) aims to strengthen bullying prevention and empower everyone to make a stand and become a bully stopper, reducing incidences of bullying in Victorian schools: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Page s/default.aspx • Student Inclusion and Engagement Guidance provides advice, resources and strategies for schools on developing a Student Engagement Policy, promoting positive student behaviour and responding to challenging behaviour: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/particip ation/Pages/studentengagementguidance.aspx Promoting Positive Relationships Reference • Anderson, Amy R., Christenson, Sandra L., Sinclair, Mary F., & Lehr, Camilla A. (2004). Check & Connect: The importance of relationships for promoting engagement with school. Journal of School Psychology, 42(2), 95-113 • Cahill, Helen, Shaw, Gary, Wyn, Johanna, & Smith, Graeme. (2004). Translating Caring Into Action: an Evaluation of the Victorian Catholic Education Student Welfare Professional Development Initiative. Research Report Series. Melbourne: Youth Research Centre, The University of Melbourne. • Dake, Joseph A., Price, James H., & Telljohann, Susan K. (2003). The Nature and Extent of Bullying at School. Journal of School Health, 73(5), 173. • Fredricks, Jennifer. A., Blumenfeld, Phyllis. C., & Paris, Alison. H. (2004). School Engagement: Potential of the Concept, State of the Evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74(1), 59-109 • Johnson, B. (2008). Teacher-student relationships which promote resilience at school: a micro-level analysis of students’ views. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 36(4), 385-398. • Roorda, Debora L., Koomen, Helma M. Y., Spilt, Jantine L., & Oort, Frans J. (2011). The Influence of Affective TeacherStudent Relationships on Students' School Engagement and Achievement: A Meta-Analytic Approach. Review of Educational Research, 81(4), 493-529. • Ttofi, M.M., & Farrington, D.P. (2011). Effectiveness of school-based programs to reduce bullying: a systematic and meta-analytic review. J Exp Criminol, 7, 27-56. • van Uden, J.M., Ritzen, H., & Pieters, J.M. . (2014). Engaging students: The role of teacher beliefs and interpersonal teacher behavior in fostering student engagement in vocational education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 37, 21-32.
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