Adaptability: How the Capacity to Adjust to Change is Essential for Students and Teachers

A Talk by Rebecca J. Collie, Scientia Fellow and Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Thursday, April 26
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Neville Scarfe, Room 310


Every day, both students and teachers are faced with numerous new and changing situations in their learning, teaching, and social interactions that require them to adapt and be flexible. The extent to which they can successfully adjust to manage these situations has significant implications for their wellbeing, motivation, and performance. In this talk, Dr. Collie will introduce the idea of adaptability, consider how it differs from related constructs (e.g., resilience), highlight its importance for individuals, and discuss some recent findings from her research program involving school students, university students, and teachers. Practical implications for promoting adaptability will also be discussed.


Rebecca Collie, Ph.D., is a Scientia Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research focuses on motivation and well-being among students and teachers, their psychosocial experiences at school, and quantitative research methods including both variable-centred and person-centred approaches. Rebecca also conducts research in related areas including social and emotional learning, adaptability, goal setting, and interpersonal relationships, and she examines the importance of these factors for both students and teachers. Rebecca has published over 40 peer reviewed journal articles and chapters in leading outlets, along with a recently published co-edited book, “Social and Emotional Learning in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.” Her work has been cited in OECD policy documents and she is part of a research team that recently won funding from the European Commission to examine academic outcomes among migrant students. Rebecca completed her doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia and previously she worked as an elementary school teacher in Melbourne.