Growth through resilience

Sean Dolan New Zealand Tertiary College

Editorial: Vol 6, No 4 - May 2021

In this issue of He Kupu, the theme of growth through resilience is explored with a particular focus on the impact of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions over the last twelve months. This issue has invited contributions from early childhood practitioners, lecturers and academics detailing practical responses to the lockdown, and wider reflections and contributions on the topic of resilience and the role this plays in supporting children’s development. Apparent in the narratives of resilience is the capacity of individuals and organisations to overcome, what may seem at times, insurmountable challenges.

The articles in this issue provide theoretical and practical support for early childhood teachers to gain a more in-depth conceptual understanding of the significance and implications for developing resilience with children, whānau and teaching staff. The practitioner section comprises three articles. The first article is co-written by a third year Bachelor of Teaching student on the final placement of her program and the lecturer who oversaw the placement. While many centres were forced to close their doors, Rebecca and her centre stayed open and resituated many of the practices developed in face-to-face interaction to an online platform. Through this article, we see the resilience of the student and the centre, and how they positioned themselves to serve the children and whānau in their community.

In the second article of the practitioner section, Amy Thynne explores contemporary early childhood discourse on the concept of resilience, with attention to the role of attachment and executive function. The article concludes with suggestions for teachers for how resilience might be supported in children. Concluding the practitioner section, Pearl D’Silva explores how teachers can promote resilience through the introduction of loose parts, and how such a resource when effectively introduced to children has intrinsic qualities of inquiry and perseverance, which lend itself to consideration of resilience. With reference to Ginsburg’s discussion of loose parts, the author provides practical strategies on how loose parts might be used to support children’s dispositions of resilience.

In the article section, Zahra Herrmann draws on expert literature to highlight key characteristics of resilience for children, examining issues of risk and protective factors that teachers might evoke to support and develop resilience among the vulnerable. Zahra ends the article with a list of practical strategies for teachers and families. The final article in this section written by Trish Thomas explores the issue of resilience from a strengths-based relational community approach. Informed by human rights and social justice perspectives, the author proposes that all early childhood services have the potential, regardless of their philosophy, to firmly centre a focus on resilience and elevate its application.

This issue of He Kupu concludes with three book reviews. The first from Phoebe Tong with a suggestion of children’s literature that might be used with children to raise and frame the topic of resilience. Colin Gibbs provides an overview of the integrative somatic approach and how this might be applied to early childhood teachers. Likewise, Marjolein Whyte looks at how resilience might be supported in others with reference to Salutogenesis.

I hope that you will find the articles in this issue encourage you to reflect on the role of resilience, and how this can be supported and developed for children in early childhood settings.

How to cite this article

Dolan, S. (2021). Growth through resilience. [Editorial]. He Kupu, 6 (4), 1.