Building children's resilience in times of unprecedented uncertainty

Published 31 March 2020
Maia Osborn Postdoctoral Researcher Maia Osborn. Nature play is encourage to build children's resilience.

An online presentation of some of Southern Cross University’s latest research in education will be live streamed this Thursday on the SCU Education Research Facebook page.

The second in a series of events, this is expected to be of interest to both teachers and parents who now find themselves teaching at home.

Postdoctoral researcher Maia Osborn is the first on the list of presenters.

Her talk titled ‘Responding to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness in times of unprecedented uncertainty: Stories of holistic environmental education in primary schools’, will offer practical tools to build resilience by engaging students with nature.

Maia explains that her research focused on holistic environmental education in primary schools, and uncovered tangible approaches that may help children respond to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

“My research aimed to learn from practising teachers about how to explore difficult concepts, such as climate change and other environmental issues, in ways that were empowering for the children, supporting them to think critically and develop rich understandings of their place in the world.”

“In the current climate, nurturing children’s resilience is particularly important.”

Maia will share her research findings, and methods educators can use to plan learning experiences that will increase resilience and a sense of agency in children.

"Often this can mean giving kids the opportunity to pose questions, to research the issue and come up with solutions, so that they feel they have the capacity to take action in a way that is meaningful.”

Maia will also offer up a list of online resources that teachers (or parents) can engage with to support children’s learning and encourage greater engagement with the natural world.

Maia’s presentation will be followed by Dr Marianne Logan discussing school/university partnerships and science teacher education in school settings, and Dr Lewes Peddell’s investigation of ‘teacher-of-mathematics identity and retention’.

The event will be live streamed on the Southern Cross University School of Education Research Facebook page - commencing at 4:45pm (NSW) / 3:45pm (QLD) on Thursday April 2.

You can add the free event to your calendar and book in via eventbrite.

Media contact: Karin von Behrens,