Resilient at what?

Filling the pail

Chester Draws, a regular contributor to the comments on this blog, made a point about ‘resilience’ that really had me thinking:

“We have plenty of what amount to infinite problems out there. They are called computer games.

The thing is that the kids who supposedly have to learn “resilience” are extremely resilient at playing them. They don’t, generally, lack resilience as such. What kids lack, but many develop as they get older, is resilience at tasks they don’t like.”

I think this cuts to the heart of two key issues in the debate about education. Firstly, generic skills such as ‘collaboration’, ‘critical thinking’, ‘creativity’, ‘resilience’ and so on are highly context-dependent. A kid can be a great collaborator in his football team but very poor at collaborating over housework. Beyond a few social skills that children will generally pick-up in early childhood – ones they were learning long before…

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