Helping mixed heritage children develop 'character and resilience' in schools

Lewis, Kirstin. 2016. Helping mixed heritage children develop 'character and resilience' in schools. Improving Schools, 19(3), pp. 197-211. ISSN 1365-4802 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Recent UK government policy suggests that all schools have a key role to play in building ‘character and resilience’ in children. This article draws on data from a wider research project, exploring the school experiences of mixed white/ black Caribbean and mixed white/ black African children in two London secondary schools. Because data from this project suggest that many children experienced adversity at school, a theoretical framework previously developed by Ungar et al. (2007) was used to assess how they coped with adversity and to what extent their schools supported them with it. Findings revealed that although positive relationships with adults were essential, teachers could not offer the necessary support and guidance because they were unaware of mixed heritage children’s needs, and any challenges they faced. This article asks whether such a framework might prove useful in supporting teachers to understand what factors develop ‘character and resilience’ and the ways in which they might therefore support children to cope.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


resilience, mixed heritage, discrimination, adversity

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies > Centre for Identities and Social Justice


1 November 2016Published
26 May 2016Published Online
15 April 2016Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

10 Nov 2016 17:04

Last Modified:

21 Jun 2018 15:40

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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