Teacher 's Christian Fellowship of NSW : Blast from the past

Nurturing Spirituality in Children and Young People by Developing Resilience
Ted Witham JCE Vol 44 No 1 May 2001.

A series of excerpts featuring fundamental teaching about Christian education.

Society usually prizes people who remain strong in the face of utmost horror. Resilience is that collection of qualities that enable a person to cope with life and to thrive even in adversity….an inner capacity of a person. (They) include social competence, problem-solving abilities, critical consciousness, autonomy and sense of purpose.

The concept of connectedness is central to resilience: …with family, with school and with a meaning system. Thus resilience may be fostered by strengthening the connections for young people, and by teaching skills that enhance the specific qualities associated with resilience.

Resilience…is a spiritual concept,…the qualities of a resilient person are all spiritual qualities. Social competence… depends on the exercise of love, forgiveness and justice. Problem-solving and critical consciousness is individual’s ability to reflect on their own actions and thoughts. Autonomy, the ability to value oneself. A sense of purpose… recognised as fundamental to spirituality.

Children who begin to know…that their ultimate value comes from being God’s..are close to the truth that the universe is made by love and that love reaches out to them.

The promotion of resilience, may be considered an effective approach, as a tangible way to foster coping skills in students while at the same time being an opportunity to nurture young people’s spirituality in a way that enhances their global wellbeing.

The Journal of Christian Education and back copies are available from The Business Manager, JCE, PO Box 602, EPPING NSW 1710

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