Please note that there are two different conference venues:
June 14/15 - Century City Conference Centre
June 16 - Kirstenbosch Conference Centre (transportation available)
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Friday, June 16 • 10:45 - 12:00
Global South Panel "Social Ecological Pathways to Resilience in the Global South" - Qing Gu, Silvia Koller, Jace Pillay, Masego Katisi

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Global South Panel
Topic: Social Ecological Pathways to Resilience in the Global South
Panelists: Qing Gu, Silvia Koller, Jace Pillay, Masego Katisi
Facilitator: Linda Theron

Panelist Topics
Resilient Teachers, Resilient Schools: Building and Sustaining Quality in Testing Times
Speaker: Qing Gu (University of Nottingham, UK)
At a time when the contemporary landscape of teaching is populated with successive government policy reforms that have increased teachers’ external accountabilities, work complexity and emotional workload, understanding why and how many teachers are able to sustain their capacity to be resilient and continue to work for improvement is an important quality retention issue.  Drawing upon a range of educational, psychological, socio-cultural and neuro-scientific research, together with accounts from real teachers in real schools in Beijing (China) and England, the paper discusses the dynamic nature, forms and practices of teacher resilience. The analyses revealed robust underlying dimensions of school leadership, relational and organisational conditions and their direct and indirect effects on resilience in teachers. The paper concludes that resilience in teachers can be nurtured by the intellectual, social and organisational environments in which they work and live, rather than being simply a personal attribute or trait, determined by nature. 

How social ecologies
 ​facilitate resilience – similarities and differences between Global North and South America populations
Speaker: Silvia Koller (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
Human beings are assets, who when develop positively, benefit their families, communities, and societies. Societal and cultural processes and economical challenges concerning contextual ecologies have to be taken into account when discussing resilience and vulnerability regarding South Americans. Due to unstable economic and political circumstances, personal ingenuity has been taken into account to promote and protect social and emotional ecologies, strengthen communities’ ties, and warranty historical traditions to be kept. The changes and confronts have been considered as daily opportunities to those who are open to be defied by uncertainty and need to survive, either psychological as physically. Social policy, counseling and education protagonists are also aware of their roles to preserve well-being and protection to all. Despite of challenges, remarkable benefits accrue as positive development for people, as well as their communities and beyond. The assets and resilience as well as interventions that increase the likelihood that people will thrive despite challenges have been accumulated. We will emphasize the opportunities in leadership, strengths development, protective communities building and others in Latin America. 

How resilient are developmental theories favoured by the global north to african child-headed households in the Global south? 
Speaker: Jace Pillay (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
If resilience is broadly viewed as the capacity of dynamic systems to adapt successfully to threatening systems that affect development then it is essential for developmental theories grounded in Global North discourses to be critically analysed in Global South contexts.  Taking this view into consideration I briefly share some of the challenges experienced by children in African child-headed households and through a reflective case study I emphasise the resilient nature of some of the children from such a household. Then I provide a very critical exposition of some developmental theories favoured in Global North contexts and question how resilient such theories are in Global South contexts, especially in relation to African child-headed households. Particular attention is paid to the distinctive resilience attributes in both global contexts.

Speaker: Masego Katisi (University of Bergen, Norway)
Critical reflection of the EARTH therapy: a resilience program operated within the Botswana cultural context
The EARTH therapy program is a locally developed, national program for promoting resilience among orphaned children run by ten district councils in Botswana since 2007. The operating partners are the Government of Botswana and an NGO called Ark and Mark Trust. The program is established under the concept of Botswana’s culture of collectivism as opposed to the right-based individualistic cultures. The aim of this paper is to critically reflect on the aspects of the EARTH therapy program to demonstrate what is distinctive about resilience in the Global South context. The EARTH therapy program enhances child resilience through community participation and formation of cohorts of age-mates shadowing Botswana’s traditional initiation. Cohorts of age-mates go through a two-week wilderness-therapy program, which uses group therapy as the main approach. The program uses rites of affirmation to foster and strengthen the process of group formation. It also uses team-based experiential activities as metaphors that demonstrate the value of group support. Following the two-weeks of wilderness-based therapy are village-based follow-up activities that run for three years. Activities include cohorts’ progress meetings and individual case follow-ups. Community “mothers” support the participants to access assistance from available traditional structures, health, educational, social services. We conclude that using group approach that shadows traditional practices as well as community participation are powerful pathways to child resilience. 

avatar for Linda Theron

Linda Theron

Professor, North-West University
Linda Theron is a full professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria; an associate of the Centre for the Study of Resilience, University of Pretoria; and an extraordinary professor in Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University... Read More →

avatar for Masego Katisi

Masego Katisi

University of Bergen

Silvia Koller

Visiting Scientist, Harvard

Jace Pillay

University of Johannesburg

Friday June 16, 2017 10:45 - 12:00 SAST
Kirstenbosch Conference Centre Old Mutual Conference and Exhibition Centre, Table Mountain, South Africa