[RE]LEARN 2020 - The Learning Innovation Festival has ended
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Monday, November 9 • 23:00 - 23:15
Resilient Learning Communities

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Resilience is an often misunderstood concept, yet it is a necessary element of learning communities. In the early 1970’s researchers interested in gaining an understanding of resilience focused on children and adolescents who flourished despite challenging life circumstances and negative experiences. Resilience was perceived as a fixed, innate, singular characteristic or trait that enabled one to push through challenges. Over the last fifty years, the focus of resilience has shifted to one that is more inclusive of external factors, systems and processes, and the influence those factors, systems and processes had over one’s ability to regain equilibrium after the introduction of adversity or risk. This view of resilience is the foundation of contemporary research which argues that resilience is not an individualist characteristic, but rather one that is a cluster of processes that change over time and can be intentionally enhanced by the acts of others. In addition, it has been suggested that it is through relationships that growth of resilience is best fostered, known as relational resilience. This was supported by a recent study conducted by Dr. Agvent who found that the process of resilience was more than making it through a challenge, but rather a means for positive transformation through relationships within a community of educators and learners.

Now, more than ever, relational resilience is a necessary component of building and maintaining effective learning communities. The global pandemic, political divide and uncertainty of how our Nation will respond to future challenges has left families worried and anxious about their health, safety and the future of their children’s education. Learning in community, (for example, co-ops or co-learning communities) have become more common as families withdraw their children from public school systems. Pandemic pods are popping up in cities and towns and parents/guardians and children must learn how to build and sustain learning environments that embrace community and can not only withstand challenges, but foster resilience so that challenges may be viewed as opportunities for positive individual and community growth and transformation.

Learning in community provides families with the opportunity to collaborate and create educational experiences together. Families share resources, teaching responsibilities and work together in the best interest of their children. However, learning in community is not without its challenges. Personality conflicts and misunderstandings are inevitable in a group environment and have the potential to create a divide among community members and result in disconnection, power struggles and silenced voices. However, understanding and embracing the human need for relationships allows people to encourage and support one another rather than allowing the inequality of power structures to marginalize, oppress, or silence others. The presence of empowerment, empathy and courage within a community are necessary ingredients for creating resilient communities.

Participants will gain an understanding of relational resilience, the importance of building resilient communities and explore strategies to strengthen resilience within their own educational communities. This session applies to those in homeschool learning communities as well as those in learning communities present in traditional K-12 and post-secondary schools.

avatar for Christina Agvent

Christina Agvent

Edupreneur & Founder of Trifecta Education, Trifecta Education, LLC
Dr. Christina Agvent has over thirty years of experience in the field of education and has served as a teacher, school director, professor and director of strategic partnerships at the university level. An innovator in education, Dr. Agvent has designed and developed one-of-a-kind... Read More →

Monday November 9, 2020 23:00 - 23:15 CET