Pedagogical approaches to support student resilience in higher-education settings: A systematic literature review




higher education, mental health, pedagogy, resilience, review


In recent years, Higher education (HE) students have continued to report rising rates of anxiety, depression and stress. One strategy employed to address these developments has been providing educational and administrative services that help to support and promote student resilience. Efforts to improve student resilience in HE may be bolstered by programs and strategies that go beyond traditional healthcare service delivery: for instance, initiatives such as in-course pedagogical approaches which target enhancing student resilience awareness and understanding. This systematic review aimed to identify, analyze, and synthesize the essential characteristics and programmatic features (e.g., methods) of pedagogical approaches (i.e., teaching strategies, curricula or other features) designed to support resilience among students in HE contexts. Searches were carried out in ERIC, PsychINFO, and SCOPUS and returned 1,545 results. Ultimately, thirty-five articles were included in the final synthesis. A three-level thematic analysis of the included thirty-five articles was conducted, in order to develop rigorous and consistent analytical themes. The five analytical themes that were subsequently developed included: 1) resilience education: reflection, understanding, awareness; 2) individual strategies: personal skill development; 3) institution- or department-level: structural, curricular opportunities; 4) interpersonal strategies: relational skill development; and 5) learning community: cohesion, integration, resource awareness. The implications and effectiveness of these themes for HE instructors are discussed.


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