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Teaching self-regulation 'can help to make students more resilient'

02/06/2017 Joanna

School students can recover from setbacks more effectively if they have learned key self-regulation skills, according to a new study.

The research from Spain's Universidad Internacional de La Rioja aimed to determine whether self-regulation skills - such as the ability to set goals and adjust approach their after a misstep - can help to make children more resilient and able to overcome challenging situations.

The study involved 365 Spanish students aged 15 to 21 years of age with a history of poor academic performance, who would have been on course to attain the necessary qualifications to succeed in the jobs market in later life.

It was shown that the ability to learn from mistakes was a major predictor of personal resilience, particularly in areas such as coping, confidence, tenacity and adaptation, as well as tolerance to negative situations.

As such, those who were able to acquire self-regulation skills were better equipped to not only perform well in school, but also later on in life.

Professor Raquel Artuch-Garde from the Universidad Internacional de La Rioja said: "By working on the self-regulation skills of students at risk, we encourage their resilient capacity to build an optimistic life plan and to persevere, which in turn reduces dropout rates that lead to social exclusion."

This is an important finding, as it is well-established that resilience is an acquired trait, rather than a predetermined character attribute, meaning it can be learned by working to improve one's behaviours, thoughts and actions.

Teaching such skills to schoolchildren will allow them to adjust and remain calm when faced with the prospect of academic failure or problems with a teacher, rather than panicking and losing control.

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