Preschool Children’s Resilience: An Ecological Perspective in a Taiwanese Context

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Lin, KL
Pendergast, D
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Margrain, Valerie

Hultman, Annica Löfdahl

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There are extensive empirical studies exploring adolescent and young adult resilience and identity formation, yet comparatively little attention is devoted to researching the development of children’s resilience during their early years. Furthermore, the concept of resilience, including consideration of protective and risk factors, has been investigated primarily in Western settings, with little known about resilience in non-Western cultures, including in Taiwan. Paradoxically, there is wide acceptance that the influence of cultures and contexts is an important factor of relevance to resilience and identity research. In contributing to exploring the notion of democracy and specifically the theme of empowerment in this book, in the case of this chapter through student voice and focusing on the experiences of three 5-year-old male preschool children, we contribute to building a greater understanding of challenges and resilience in preschool children in a non-Western context. We do so by exploring narratives from Victor, Howard, and Ian considered through the lens of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. These case studies illustrate the relationship between preschool children’s emergent identities and resilience in their early years and extend our insights into culturally influential elements on young children’s resilience development associated with their emergent identities. We found that culturally influential elements include families, media, and multiple religious traditions in Taiwan. By giving voice to these students, we are contributing to developing democracy in the early childhood sector, specifically through our educational research practice that enables children to have a voice via participation and hence influence, leading to empowerment as a key component of democracy.

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Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education: Engagement in Changing Global Contexts



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Early childhood education

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Lin, KL; Pendergast, D, Preschool Children’s Resilience: An Ecological Perspective in a Taiwanese Context, Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education: Engagement in Changing Global Contexts, 2019, 28, pp. 247-261