Promoting Resilience in Higher Education
The Early Years profession
As a profession, the care and education of children in the Early Years is acknowledged as high demand and a complex educational environment. Contributing factors of work environment, income and societal status and a dissonance between job description and actual practices abound. Significant issues include staff attrition, relationships with colleagues, and working alongside professionals from other disciplines, including intervention services.
For the individual, there is evidence of poor physical and mental health and risk of burnout. In her early work, Sumsion focused on individual resilience and career commitment, and the importance of personal qualities, contextual features and the interplay between them. The work of Gu and Day and Gu and Li attended to the ways in which teachers can be supported in terms of resilience, as individuals interact with the contexts in which they live. In Australia, Kidsmatter has drawn attention to the importance of professional resilience for early years educators, and a study as part of the Start Well Projects likewise identified resilience as important to maximise the social and emotional wellbeing of early childhood educators.
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- ^Sumsion, J. (2004). Early childhood teachers’ construction of their resilience and thriving: A continuing investigation. International Journal of Early Years Education, 12(3), 275-290.
- ^Sumsion, J. (2003). Rereading metaphors as cultural texts: A case study of early childhood attrition. The Australian Educational Researcher, 30(3), 67-87.
- ^Gu, Q., & Day, C. (2013). Challenges to teacher resilience: conditions count. British Educational Research Journal, 39(1), 22-44. DOI: 10.1080/01411926.2011.62315
- ^Gu, Q., & Li, Q. (2013). Sustaining resilience in times of change: Stories from Chinese teachers. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 41(3), 288-303. DOI:10.1080/1359866X.2013.809056
- ^Kidsmatter, https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/primary
- ^HIMH, 2017 Start Well project: Supporting resilience and wellbeing in early career teachers https://everymind.org.au/research/start-well