Understanding and developing students' Academic Resilience (AR) in secondary schools of Karachi: The case of grade 9 biology students

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Individual's ability to effectively cope with setbacks, persist, and overcome challenges and adversities is known as resilience. In the context of education, academic resilience among secondary school students of grade 9 Biology group can be developed through strategies, resources and supportive conditions that students, teachers, and parents can use to help reduce dropout rate and enhance motivation of students to attend schools. The study employed a qualitative research design, and a case study method to explore the perspectives of the participants. In depth, semi-structured interviews, field notes, observation checklist, snapshot of scenarios, local words (such as ta’lim-e quwwat-e bardasht) and pictures were used to engage in conversation to draw information from the respondents, regarding AR. The challenges to develop AR included, classroom size, and students own attitudes, their alienation from the academics, lack of innovation and novelty in teacher’s classroom pedagogies, and English language proficiency. Additionally, cultural and societal pressures included struggles affecting the students’ drive to become resilient both academically and generally. To cope with these multifaceted challenges faced by students, support and guidance are required to help students gain confidence and gradually improve their resilience. Without addressing these challenges, the problem of student’s dropout or staying in school without motivation to achieve, appear as an uphill battle. The implications for teachers, for parents, teacher educators, policy-makers and school leaders are many and suggest that developing students’ genuine academic resilience is a part of their overall resilience. Lastly, listening and involving students’ voices in developing their academic resilience is a central message of this study. The study presents some recommendations for future research to further explore this unexplored but vital for successful learning and living field.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library