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Preschool teachers’ resilience and their readiness for building children's resilience

Dejana Bouillet (Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)
Tea Pavin Ivanec (Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)
Renata Miljević-Riđički (Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 30 September 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the resilience of preschool teachers, aspects of teachers’ readiness to develop children's resilience and the relationship between the two constructs of resilience and readiness.

Design/methodology/approach

Two instruments (the “Resilience Scale For Adults” and the “Questionnaire on the Readiness of Preschool Teachers for Developing Children's Resilience”) were used to collect data on resilience and readiness for developing children's resilience from 191 female preschool teachers enrolled in a graduate education programme in the Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Zagreb, Croatia. Data were analysed by factor analyses and a two-way analyses of variance.

Findings

Results indicate that preschool teachers achieve high results on resilience measures, and that they have supportive attitudes towards programmes for building children's resilience and are willing to implement such programmes in their everyday practice. Those preschool teachers who perceived themselves as more resilient also considered that they were more competent in developing resilience in children. Additionally, preschool teachers who perceived their kindergarten's institutional climate as supportive, felt that they are more competent for fostering resilience in children, and were at the same time more willing to implement programmes for building children's resilience.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest that the level of institutional supportiveness is related to preschool teachers’ competence and willingness to foster resilience in children. Those preschool teachers who perceive their institutional climate as supportive feel more willing and competent to implement programmes for developing children's resilience. Additionally, teachers’ competence for developing resilience in children is related to their own resilience: more resilient preschool teachers feel more competent to foster children's resilience. These results suggest that general institutional climate and resilience of those adults who work with preschool children are important aspects of early educational environment, and should be taken into consideration when planning the implementation of programmes for building children's resilience.

Originality/value

This research is the first Croatian research on resilience in the context of early childhood education. It also represents a contribution to a relatively small number of studies that link preschool teachers’ resilience with their readiness to foster resilience in children.

Keywords

Citation

Bouillet, D., Pavin Ivanec, T. and Miljević-Riđički, R. (2014), "Preschool teachers’ resilience and their readiness for building children's resilience", Health Education, Vol. 114 No. 6, pp. 435-450. https://doi.org/10.1108/HE-11-2013-0062

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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