TED Conversations

Marcus Cauchi

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How can we best develop and encourage self-efficacy in children and young adults?

I recently read Paul Stoltz book The Adversity Quotient which got me thinking about how the CORE message related to my own children.

I've found one outlet for expressing these conditions for building resilience through the works of a charity called New Dawn Rovers that my daughter and I are involved with.


Kitty has realised she has some "C"ontrol. She can and is saving her pennies. She is taking decisive action to engage her classmates, schoolmates and her Brownie pack.

With control, she has developed "O"wnership of the problem. She's taken ownership of her little piece of the puzzle and is overcoming immense shyness to speak to her entire school assembly.

Kitty realises she has "R"each that stretches thousands of miles. She's been invited to become a schools ambassador (which, so long as she doesn't have to miss school, she wants to do!!) She is reminding me each day to collect my pennies and ask my clients and network for theirs.

And her levels of "E"ndurance have grown in leaps and bounds. Hours of online and offline research, computer crashes, developing presentations, editing, taking and applying constructive criticism, connecting with (vetted) adults and seeding ideas that are being taken seriously, collaboration resulting in better ideas (e.g. a toy library for refugees in the Western Sahara).

I'd love to learn of your experiences of other ways you have seen working to help develop the sense in your own or children you teach, that you are so much more than a passenger in life.

I have no idea if she will ultimately live a better life as a result or make a greater contribution to humanity as a result of this exercise. What I do know if that she has inspired me!

It's such a privilege to see children seizing the moment and being more than they believed they could be. Projects like these inspire. Help me discover more.


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