Emotional Resilience

This sort of thing is increasingly prevalent in the independent sector:

Yesterday, it was announced that head teachers from 200 of the country’s leading independent schools will attend a conference next month to learn how to equip their pupils with emotional resilience, so that they can deal better with stress and failure.

(Full article in The Telegraph)

As ever with curricula that promote skills over knowledge, it is hard to find fault with the skill itself. Who wouldn’t want their children or pupils to be emotionally resilient? It is the method by which these skills are ‘taught’ that is more suspect. 

Pastoral care; competitive sports and examinations; the study of traditional subjects (especially the Humanities): all of these facets of school life, to name just a few, have been, in the hands of humane and experienced teachers, the seedbed of ’emotional resilience’ for many centuries. The only suggestions I could find in this article (“nurture a positive view of yourself”; “practice optimism”) seem at best banal. At worst, such suggested ‘interventions’ are an invasion of unnecessarily therapeutic language into an arena in which they may help to aggravate the very problem they purport to solve.


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