NEW FROM THE PRESS: Bouncing Back: Life and Learning in a Time of Crisis
13 May 2022 | Ateneo University Press
Bouncing Back: Life and Learning in a Time of Crisis, A Student Resilience Study of the Ateneo de Manila School of Science and Engineering by Queena N. Lee-Chua
What makes Filipino students resilient, particularly in times of crises?
Even as some students succumb to anxiety and despair, lose motivation to learn, commit acts against integrity, others actively participate in every synchronous class, go beyond minimum competencies, and remain hopeful and strong amid severe trials. How do they do it? What keeps them going? What can we learn from them?
Twenty-five professors of the Ateneo de Manila School of Science and Engineering (SOSE) chose 92 college students, graduate students, and alumni whom they observed to display resilience in learning, and prodded them to reflect on how they overcame challenges in and out of the classroom. Many students are financial aid scholars, while some are economically comfortable. Many are top achievers, while some experienced failures in school and national exams. Many underwent childhood poverty, parental separation, loss of loved ones, and several have mental and emotional health issues. Whatever their circumstances, the study reveals that these resilient students rely on three sources of support: deep faith, solid family bonds, and close friends and mentors.
In this book, students describe how they create doable routines, manage tasks and time, hold each other accountable, even as they pursue hobbies, exercise and commune with nature, and bond with loved ones. They relate how they cultivate interest in learning, take mistakes in stride, keep things in perspective, feel grateful to their mentors, and find purpose in serving others.
Some students tell stories in-depth: how they love to learn and grow, why failures are learning experiences, and why the mind is our most powerful organ. They remind us to take care of our mind and body and anchor ourselves on core values as we take charge of our future with loved ones right by our side. Inspired by these students, several professors reflect on their grit and resilience, share growth-mindset exercises, and narrate inspiring stories of how they themselves surmounted adversity.
Filipino resilience is a community affair.
“We can only pull ourselves up from our strengths. We cannot pull ourselves up by dwelling on our weaknesses. And that is the value of this book. As it documents the impressive strength of many of our undergraduate and graduate students, it also invites us to focus on those strengths, on our resilience and toughness as a people, and move our country forward by leveraging these strengths. As a seminal work, this hopefully can lead to more reflection and study on how to identify and nurture our future leaders. Recommended for students, teachers, school administrators, parents, counselors—I hope they will add their own reflections.”
—Bienvenido F. Nebres, S. J., National Scientist and former Ateneo de Manila University president
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