Community Resilience

This project seeks to pilot new methods contrasting earlier socially-contextualized resilience and adaptability experiences of student teachers and nurses on practical placement (practicum) with their graduate experiences.

Teachers and nurses play a critical role in our flexible and globalized society, and particularly in the care, training and adaptation of resilient communities. Worryingly, teachers and nurses suffer from high rates of career attrition, burn-out and difficulties with emotion management. This study analyses the ‘resilience’ and ‘adaptability’ attributes that are required of student teachers/nurses on practicum and how these expectations can change once they have graduated.

Existing research links teacher/nurse resilience and adaptability to improved job outcomes and overall health. In contrast, insufficient development of these skills can leave graduates unprepared and overwhelmed in their responsibilities. These are commonly conceived as “within-person attributes” or as “individualized” psychological traits.

The purpose of this study is to highlight the previously under-researched social-contextual factors that also interact with these traits, addressing different conditions and emotional challenges across schools, health practices and communities.


The team

Dr Lynn Sheridan is the CI of the project and a Senior Lecturer. She is currently involved in an international Longitudinal Study of Professional Learning and Teachers' Interpersonal skills–UNSW and the University of York (UK). She brings project management expertise and qualitative research methodology to the project.

Dr Roger Patulny is a Senior Lecturer. He has previously been a CI on ARC Grants on gender and social capital/disconnection, and social networks, unemployment and emotional wellbeing. His expertise lies in the sociology of emotion and emotion management, and he will further bring qualitative and quantitative measurement to the project.

Dr Jordan McKenzie is a Lecturer in Sociology. He is currently a co-convener for the Social Theory Social Theory thematic group of The Australian Sociological Association and the Contemporary Emotions Research Network (UOW). This project will enhance his expertise in emotions research and methodological skills.

Dr Peter Andersen is a lecturer in the School of Education. He is an ECR, and his expertise and research interests lie in teacher professional development, with a focus effective participation of undergraduate students.

Grant Kinghorn is a lecturer in School of Nursing. He is a current PhD candidate, examining the Transition of Registered Nurses into Specialty healthcare settings. His expertise and expereince lies in public health.


This project is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals