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Thursday, June 18 • 3:45pm - 5:15pm
Building Resilience in Education - Chris Brown, Elizabeth Woodford-Collins, Gwen Gilmore

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Building Resilience in Education:

Abstract # 102
Bridging Worlds-Building Community: Fostering Inclusive, Equity-Based Education
Presenter: Chris Brown Co-Presenter: Sarah Gazan
Through practical conversations based on experience, the presenters will discuss three conversations that need to take place to foster an equity- based, Culturally Proficient education. All of these conversations work to foster resiliency for youth by changing conversations about resiliency from a focus on the individual to a focus on creating a more enabling social environment. Conversation One This conversation is about knowledge, and how we make sense of the world based on our internalized, socialized experiences. Equity education is not about acquiring more external knowledge, but about challenging our internalized norms, values, beliefs and knowledge that shape our actions and maintain inequity. Conversation Two Conversation two is about the role of conversation and dialogue to critique inequity, and create a better understanding of our resistance to learning about oppression. This conversation creates the impetus for personal reflection that may lead to perspective transformation. Conversation Three This conversation is about creating inclusive education environments that benefit minoritized and marginalized students. The focus of this conversation is on understanding the social construction of difference, and advocating for places and spaces of safety for those whose identities reside outside of the mythical norm.  

Abstract # 113 
Building the Connected Classroom
Presenter: Elizabeth Woodford-Collins Co-Presenter: John Cochrane, Peter Smith, Jackie Leonard
Many teachers question their students’ lack of resilience as they display distress over seemingly insignificant stimulus. There are many contributing factors for this lack of resilience. Many of our student's stories follow similar patterns: lack of sleep, high expectations from self/peer/parent, work pressures, social media interactions, learning challenges, socioeconomic stress, bubble-wrapped kids and personal stories resulting in a traumatized youth. With this emotional overload, our youth's ability to deal with life's issues is compromised and many are left feeling powerless.We propose to help restore equilibrium as we provide for alternate conversations, rebuild confidence and improve resilience. How?The biggest question for many NS high school students is, “What is next?”The traditional classroom combined with the connected classroom results in purposeful and self-directed study, cross-curricular connections and a career plan that builds confidence and resilience.What does the connected classroom look like?1. Compulsory career course (gr 11)2. COOP 3. Service Learning 4. Experiential learning/inquiry based learning (career focus)5. Portfolio 6. Fundamental questions are answered: Who Am I/Where do I want to go in life/ What are my skills/interests? 7. Learning Plan: Educational/Career pathways 8. Relationships/FacilitationThis is about making connections for all youth.

Abstract # 178   
The Role of Relational Resilience in Building Academic Pathways For Students: Interdisciplinary Case Studies From Melbourne, Australia.
Presenter: Gwen Gilmore Co-Presenter: Marcelle Cacciattolo, Dan Loton
This paper examines relational resilience after Jordan (2012) who argues for a move beyond individual responsibility for ‘resilience’ to examine the relational dynamic processes and interconnections of individuals with their community. We explore here the experience of prospective students who fail to meet university entrance scores and enrol in an alternative diploma program at an Australian university. Student communities include 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 studies draw attention to higher education factors that can either inhibit or encourage students’ capacity to deal with day to day opportunities and challenges that university life brings. Findings highlight how university systems and teaching can fuel resilience for learners who come from a range of diverse backgrounds.


Elizabeth Woodford-Collins

Beth Collins has worked in the secondary and post-secondary academic setting for fifteen years, in both urban and rural situations. Working with Masters level students to IB students to IPP students, Beth has discovered one educational truth, Allie Mooney’s motto, “If you can reach me then you can teach me.”. Her work with the Options and Opportunities and COOP programs, service learning initiatives and experiential learning help create the... Read More →

Gwen Gilmore

Dr Gwen Gilmore has bought to Victoria University 27 years of teaching experience in secondary, primary and tertiary settings, as well as roles in educational leadership, management and policy advice, in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia.Gwen has a long-standing interest in developing strength based approaches to teaching and learning in special and regular education, alongside interests in systems leadership, research design and... Read More →


Marcelle Cacciattolo

Associate Professor, Victoria University
Associate Professor Marcelle Cacciattolo is a sociologist and an academic in the College of Education at Victoria University. She received her PhD from Monash University in 2002. Over the last decade her research has been cross-disciplinary involving health sciences and education-based research. Other research projects that Marcelle has been involved include young people and their wellbeing, refugee relocation, social justice and learning... Read More →

John Cochrane

Coordinator, Community-Based Learning at Education and Early Childhood Development | John Cochrane has held various positions in education with many years in co-operative education. As Coordinator of Community-Based Learning, he is responsible for a number of projects including service learning and cooperative education.

Sarah Gazan

Education Research Analyst at Manitoba Teachers' Society | Ms. Sarah Gazan is a member of the Wood Mountain Lakota Nation. She has worked in the First Nations and Provincial school systems as a classroom teacher and at the divisional and provincial levels in the areas of Aboriginal education, program planning and

Jackie Leonard

Guidance at SSRSB | Jackie is presently in her 10th year as the school counselor at Liverpool Regional High School. As an educator for 35years, Ms. Leonard has held many positions: in the classroom, in resource, and as a school counsellor. She has taught at the elementary,

Dan Loton

Educational Research Advisor at Centre for Collaborative Learning and Teaching, Victoria University | Dan recently attained his Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Psychology on the topic of video game addiction. He has experience in research administration and diverse research projects, particularly in the fields of Psychology and Education. Dan’s educational research has broadly focussed on improving outcomes for low socio-economic... Read More →

Peter Smith

Coordinator, Youth Pathways and Transitions at Education and Early Childhood Development | Peter Smith has held many positions in education both internationally and in Nova Scotia. As Youth Pathways and Transitions Coordinator, he is responsible for programs which provide multiple pathways through and successful transitions from secondary school.

Thursday June 18, 2015 3:45pm - 5:15pm
Frazee Room NAB 2nd Floor, King's College

Attendees (23)