|dc.description.abstract||The importance of resilience in young children is paramount as it helps them adjust to their life difficulties. Whilst extensive empirical studies have focused on students and adults’ resilience, there has been relatively little attention to the development of children’s resilience during their early years. Although the concept of resilience and most of the protective and risk factors have primarily been investigated in Western literature, little is known about the understanding of resilience in non-Western cultures. Ungar (2008, 2012) has constantly emphasised the important influence of cultures and contexts on resilience research. There has also been a lack of knowledge surrounding the concept of developing resilience in theory and practice in Taiwan. This study sought to narrow these gaps in the knowledge of resilience.
This study focuses on the power of storytelling as an effective preschool pedagogy in order to facilitate the development of children’s resilience. The purpose of this narrative study is to explore preschoolers’ lived experience of resilience in the public preschools in Taiwan, through the engagement of teachers’ storytelling in relation to resilience-orientated stories. In order to fully understand these lived experiences, this study uses Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory as a theoretical framework to analyse the potentially reflexive influence of social and contextual elements on individual preschoolers’ experiences of developing resilience.
This study was undertaken in a narrative approach as a methodology to capture preschoolers’ lived experiences in relation to resilience. There were five preschoolers selected from three public preschools in Taiwan. Two analytical frameworks were adopted to analyse the multiple methods of data collection that included classroom observations; children, teachers and parents’ interviews; children’s documents; and my own research field notes.
Firstly, to explore preschoolers’ narratives of resilience, the analytical framework was developed from Riessman’s dialogical/performance narrative analysis (2008). Secondly, to explore influential elements and the children’s interactions with these on the development of their resilience in the five ecological systems, Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory provided a theoretically thematic framework.
The findings of this study were presented in accordance with these two analytical frameworks. In children’s narratives of resilience, there were four themes identified: 1. The process of children’s resonance with, and teachers’ storytelling in relation to, the resilience-orientated story as the premise of promoting children’s resilience. 2. A collaborative narrative as a resilience facilitator. 3. The complementary relationship between children’s resilience and emergent identities shaped by the daily interactions with some unique social and cultural elements in the Taiwanese context. 4. Multimodality of preschoolers’ narratives as a means of obtaining insight into children’s lived experiences of resilience.
The findings surrounding sources of resilience provided insights into the understandings of an emerging construct of resilience, and of influential elements and their interactions with individual children on their resilience in the Taiwanese social and cultural context. These influential elements and interactions encompass the values of extended families as an element of a cultural heritage, cram schools playing a unique educational culture, and multiple religious traditions as the Taiwanese way of practicing their folk beliefs and religions. This study also contributes to the resilience literature from the Taiwanese social and cultural perspective, and also demonstrates the limitation of Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory in understanding the importance of cultural influences on an individual’s development of resilience.
Findings recommend and reinforce the effective use of storytelling pedagogy for professional practice in early childhood education for promoting the development of children’s resilience in the early years. The findings also provide evidence to education policy makers in Taiwan by minimizing the influence of uncertain education reform on children’s resilience, and by recognizing and prioritizing the importance of children’s resilience development in early childhood education.||