Pathways to Resilience in Risk-Laden Environments: A Case Study of Syrian Refugee Education in Lebanon
Resilience is most often understood as the ability to achieve well-being in the face of significant adversity. It is both a dynamic process and an outcome that can be pursued by individuals and communities alike. Despite becoming an increasingly popular topic in policy fields such as education, development, and refugee studies, there is limited research into the promotion of resilience within refugee education. This qualitative study, which examines the experiences of Syrian refugee children who are attending a non-formal education center in Lebanon, seeks to understand the role education plays in fostering pathways to resilience in the children’s lives. Half of the students in the study had chosen to drop out of the Lebanese formal schools they attended. This study argues that the students who chose to drop out felt that the risks they faced while attending Lebanese schools were not worth the rewards, thus they sought different pathways to resilience. Many chose to attend non-formal schools like the one involved in this study, which supported the students in finding pathways to resilience. The insights gained from studying these schools could help to improve education for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, including how to provide safe, affordable, productive, and culturally relevant education choices for more children and their families, and to support more refugee children and youth in choosing education as a pathway to resilience.