A sociocultural relational resilience perspective on a Higher Education Diploma course. Case Study reflections with Year Two students

Year: 2015

Author: Gilmore, Gwen

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper examines relational resilience after Jordan (2013) who argues for a move beyond individual responsibility for ‘resilience’ to examine the relational dynamic processes and interconnections of individuals within their community. Relationally rethinking individual resilience and taking a relational-cultural view of resilience offers us the opportunity to re-examine and rethink the meaning of the existing research on resilience (Jordan, 2010). Resilience as a concept in pre-service teacher education is important to support university course persistence and encourage a wider diversity of cohorts than might currently enter the teaching profession (Le Cornu, 2009). I explore here the relational experiences of six students in year two of their pre-service teacher course after attending an alternative entry Higher Education diploma program at an Australian university. Student communities include the institution, families, the staff and innovative groups based experiences of curriculum and pedagogy. These students’ cases reveal capacities to make strategic choices that support agency for academic success as well as the multi-dimensional and contextual processes that are negotiated in context. The case study draws attention to higher education factors that can either inhibit or encourage students’ capacity to deal with day to day opportunities and challenges that pre-service teacher life brings. This paper picks up the opportunities created by a unique pre-service teacher pedagogical and curriculum based approach that enable ‘second chance’ opportunities for pre-service teachers who fail to meet traditional entry qualifications to become teacher educators.

Jordan, J. (2010). The power of connection. Recent developments in relational cultural theory. Abingdon: Routledge.
Jordan, J. (2013). Relational resilience in girls. In S. Goldstein & R. Brooks (Eds.), Handbook of Resilience in Children. New York: Springer Science and Business Media.
Le Cornu, R. (2009). Building resilience in pre-service teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 717-723. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2008.11.016