The Office of Faculty Development

Fostering Resilience in Teaching and Learning

There are many definitions of resilience, but the one we will reference for purposes of this teaching guide describes resilience as the ability to grow and thrive in the face of challenge and effectively navigate hardship. By supporting students in developing the skills associated with resilience, students can take more control over their wellbeing and enhance their agency.

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    Examine selected research on Resilience in Higher Education: 

    Ainscough, L., Stewart, E., Colthorpe, K., & Zimbardi, K. (2018). Learning hindrances and self-regulated learning strategies reported by undergraduate students: identifying characteristics of resilient students. Studies in Higher Education, 43(12), 2194–2209. in new window)

    Howells, K., Stafford, K., Guijt, R., & Breadmore, M. (2017). The role of gratitude in enhancing the relationship between doctoral research students and their supervisors. Teaching in Higher Education, 22(6), 621–638. in new window)

    Sriskandarajah, N., Bawden, R., Blackmore, C., Tidball, K., & Wals, A. J. (2010). Resilience in learning systems: case studies in university education. Environmental Education Research, 16(5/6), 559–573. in new window)

    Zarotti, N., Povah, C., & Simpson, J. (2020). Mindfulness mediates the relationship between cognitive reappraisal and resilience in higher education students. Personality & Individual Differences, 156, N.PAG. in new window)


    Ready to foster resilience in your teaching? Here are some ideas and strategies to get you started:

    CREATE COMMUNITY -  First and most importantly, prioritize your students and their needs. Make space in your course for students to share who they are and get to know students’ names and strengths.Provide students with time to share their thoughts, ideas, and reflections on what they are learning with their peers and instructors. Encourage your students to reach out to others, and cultivate a culture of resource sharing. 

    CULTIVATE WELLBEING - Resilience strategies cultivate wellbeing in the individual and in the environment. They cultivate positive emotions which are correlated with a range of positive outcomes. Here are a couple of skills that when implemented will enhance resilience in your teaching and learning;

    1. Model and provide opportunities for students to notice and reflect upon the good things in their lives. 
    2. Practice gratitude with your own students by noticing and naming the strengths you see in them. 

    COMMUNICATE CONSISTENTLY - Communication is essential to building any relationship and consistency is key! Make space for students to engage in conversation with you and encourage students to ask for help when needed.






Explore the resources at YOU@CSU(opens in new window)to learn how to better take care of YOU. Be sure to share these resources with your students!

Listen to the Rise, Teach, Learn podcast entitled, Wildcat Resilience(opens in new window)to learn more about resilience at Chico State.

Watch The Benefits of Gratitude(opens in new window) and learn more about the research behind this practice.

Read The Age of Overwhelm(opens in new window) to learn, implement, and share strategies that foster resilience and restore perspective.