“Pedagogical Resilience” - A New Tool in Anti-Racism Education
March 21 is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. To mark this day, we are pleased to present you with the first article from a new book produced by ACRI’s Education Department, which will be published this year. "Life Lesson: Anti-Racist Education Through a Broad Lens" is a sequel to the groundbreaking book “Life Lesson: Anti-Racist Education From Kindergarten Through High School,” which was published in 2015 and praised among educators. In light of the growing need to expand anti-racist education, the new book is designed to offer further theoretical developments and innovative pedagogical approaches to anti-racist education, along with principles, skills, and applicable educational tools focused on strategies to address and dismantle racism through education.
The article "Resiliency Against Racism," the first section of the book, was written by Dr. Marcelo Menachem Wexler, a pedagogical consultant for ACRI’s Education Department. The theory of Resilient Pedagogy, a relatively new concept in the field of education, was developed by Wexler in collaboration with the Education Department and its hard-working staff over the course of several years.
The article focuses on the importance of resilience as a trait that cultivates solidarity in a group or class that has undergone a change in perspective following anti-racist education or actions. Wexler claims that the teacher – as the class’ "resilience steward” – has the task of communicating a message of partnership and solidarity at all times regarding any issue. This cultivates group – rather than merely individual – resilience. Through this approach, all students will be capable of coping with future obstacles as a group and not just as individuals, in looking out for each other, supporting one another, and remaining conscious of everyone’s vulnerability.
Regarding application, the article offers a methodology for building resilience through a "conversation that promotes hope," based on four channels to which humans attribute faith in themselves and the capacity to cope with crises: luck/fate, wisdom, difficulty in coping, and investment in the process. This model enables a process of cultivating faith in the capability of individuals and groups to bring about change, thus building resilience, which may be used by teachers who play a central role in motivational processes among students.