Resilience in teacher education: Responding to unique challenges by Staying BRiTE

Although it is widely acknowledged that capacity for professional resilience is critical for teachers, currently in Australia and internationally, there is a scarcity of resilience-focused curriculum in teacher education. Recent calls for graduates to be 'classroom ready' (Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group, 2015) have highlighted the importance of both academic skills and non-academic key capabilities such as motivation, interpersonal skills and resilience.

Teacher resilience research has flourished over the past 15 years and interest in supporting teacher resilience has increased as the teaching profession, governments, teacher educators and researchers have shared concern about teacher wellbeing (Fleming, Mackrain & LeBuffe, 2013), quality teacher retention (Gu & Day, 2013), and teacher commitment (Fransson & Frelin, 2016). While much of the existing research has been focused on practicing teachers there is emerging evidence that resilience related skills and strategies can be enhanced during pre-service teacher education (Beltman, Mansfield, Wosnitza, Weatherby-Fell & Broadley, in press).

This symposium presents five approaches to promoting resilience in teacher education in Australia, developed through the work of a National Teaching Fellowship: Staying BRiTE (Mansfield, 2016). The first paper overviews an online resource designed to assist pre-service teachers building awareness of the skills and practices that will promote professional resilience. The second paper explores how resilience can be supported through a thinking dispositions framework. The third and fourth papers discuss specific contextually responsive approaches to building professional resilience for career changers and early years educators. The final paper contextualizes teacher resilience in rural and remote schools, focusing on the role of Professional Experience.