ACEconnect: Crisis or Catalyst? Examining COVID-19’s Implications for Wellbeing and Resilience Education

Wednesday 5th May 2021


Event Details

ACEconnect events provide an opportunity for members to connect with fellow educators on topics of interest to educators in all systems and sectors.

This first ACEconnect event for 2021 is: Crisis or Catalyst? Examining COVID-19’s Implications for Wellbeing and Resilience Education

Delivered by Associate Professor Mathew White PhD FACE, Deputy Head, School of Education, The University of Adelaide

Is COVID-19 the defining education crisis or catalyst of our time? Over the past 20 years, international research in wellbeing and resilience education has helped teachers to create positive learning environments in schools with evidence-based strategies. However, the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education in extraordinary ways and may be the most significant disruption to education in 100 years. The pace of the pandemic and the severity of confusion and uncertainty about the impact on schools, schooling and education raise vital questions. There is a shortage of research investigating the effects of COVID-19 on schools and schooling. The presentation will examine the immediate impact of the pandemic on education. Then a model will be introduced to interpret the pandemic’s influence and the response of educational systems. The presentation will assert that wellbeing and resilience research can significantly contribute to how teaching and learning are conceptualised within the next decade to create more resilient, robust and flourishing education systems in which all young people believe they belong.

Expert Presenter:
Mathew A. White, PhD., FACE

Mathew is Deputy Head of the School of Education and Associate Professor of Education at the University of Adelaide. He is also a principal fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. He has published over 40 scientific journal articles and book chapters. His next book Wellbeing and Resilience Education COVID-19 and Its Impact on Education (with Faye McCallum) will be published by Routledge in May 2021. Other publications include Critical Perspectives on Teaching, Learning and Leadership: Enhancing Educational Outcomes (with Faye McCallum, Springer, 2020), Future Directions in Wellbeing: Education, Organisations and Policy (with Gavin Slemp and Simon Murray, Springer, 2017) and Evidence-Based Approaches in Positive Education: Implementing a Strategic Framework for Wellbeing in Schools (with Simon Murray, Springer, 2015). He is the President of the International Positive Psychology Association Education Division and a member of the Australian College of Educators SA Branch Committee. In 2020, Mathew was presented the Distinguished Contribution to Research in Educational Leadership Award by the South Australian Branch of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders. Mathew was a secondary school teacher for 20 years and has a decade’s senior leadership-level experience in schools and serves as a Council Member of a coeducational Anglican school. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators in 2017. He is currently co-authoring a new book, Wellbeing Education and Professional Practice, with Faye McCallum, published by Springer in 2022.


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