Developing resilience approaches for school children in Germany

  • Hart, Angie (PI)
  • Heaver, Becky (CoI)
  • Eryigit-Madzwamuse, Suna (PI)

Project Details


Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, this project establishes a Community of Practice (CoP) concerned with understanding, applying and developing resilience theory and practices to support school children with complex needs, social emotional difficulties and disabilities. The CoP members are teachers, social workers, psychologists, school counsellors, academic researchers, and other educational specialists. Taking the Resilience framework developed by Hart and colleagues and Gestalt-theory as a conceptual basis, this action-orientated study explores social, emotional, psychological and educational factors which impact on the children and their parents, families and communities. It also involves developing reflexive insights into school practitioners’ own practice, attitudes and resilience.

Wassilis Kassis, University of Osnabrück
Ulrike Becker, University of Bremen
Ulrike Graff, University of Heidelberg
Early years child development centres in Germany

Key findings

In the 2014-15 academic year, nine monthly meetings of 2.5 hours were run with teachers’ counselling groups to foster resilience at schools. The next set of sessions ran during the academic year 2015-16.

The findings were:

> it is possible and feasible to support teachers‘ resilience through communities of practice
> teachers are significantly challenged by schools‘ adversities
> communities of practice are supporting teachers‘ competence to deal more appropriately with schools‘ adversities
> the resilience framework works well in achieving these goals with teachers
> we could and should integrate the resilience framework in more schools.

A multi-lingual teacher resilience scale was developed as a result of collaboration between this project and another project in Greece.

As a result of this project, social inequalities oriented understanding of resilience and communities of practice approaches are incorporated into the teachers’ training programme of the University of Osnabrück.


Graf, U., Becker. U., Hart, A. (2015) A ‘Gestalt’-Based Concept of Supporting Teachers Resilience. Examples of a Community of Practice Group at Osnabrück, Germany. Paper presented at the Pathways to Resilience III conference at the University of Halifax, Halifax, Canada. June.

Kassis, W., Graf, U. Kourkoutas, E., & Hart, A. (2015) Communities of Practice Supporting Teachers' Resilience? Working With Teachers in a Resilient-Based Systemic Way. Paper presented at the Pathways to Resilience III conference at the University of Halifax, Halifax, Canada. June.

Kassis W (2014) German adaptation of the Resilience Framework for the Boingboing website
Effective start/end date1/09/1431/08/17


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.