Evaluating resilience-based programs for schools using a systematic consultative review

Angie Hart, Becky Heaver

Abstract


Resilient approaches to working in school contexts take many different forms. This makes them difficult to evaluate, copy and compare. Conventional academic literature reviews of these approaches are often unable to deal with the complexity of the interventions in a way that leads to a meaningful comparative appraisal. Further, they rarely
summarise and critique the literature in a way that is of practical use to people actually wishing to learn how to intervene in an educational context, such as parents and
practitioners. This includes teachers and classroom assistants, who can experience reviews as frustrating, difficult to digest and hard to learn from. Applying findings to their own particular settings, without precisely replicating the approach described, presents serious challenges to them. The aim of this paper is to explain how and why school-based
resilience approaches for young people aged 12-18 do (or do not) work in particular contexts, holding in mind the parents and practitioners who engage with young people on a daily basis, and whom we consulted in the empirical element of our work, as our audience.
Further, we attempt to present the results in a way that answer parents’ and practitioners’ most commonly asked questions about how best to work with young people using
resilience-based approaches. The review is part of a broader study looking more generally at resilience-based interventions for this age group and young adults. We offer a critical overview of approaches and techniques that might best support those young people who need them the most.

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