Sign in / Register
Home » Education Advice » From anxiety to empowerment

From anxiety to empowerment

It is said that the work of the school is determined by the needs of society. In her latest book Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls, Lisa Damour identifies that while anxiety has risen among young people overall, it has skyrocketed in girls. Girls are feeling more pressure and enduring more of the physical symptoms of psychological strain, such as fatigue and changes in appetite. They are more likely to experience the emotions often associated with anxiety. Report after report has confirmed that girls are more likely than boys to labour under feelings of psychological stress and tension. One study found that the number of teenage girls who said they often felt nervous, worried, or fearful jumped by 55 per cent from 2009 to 2014 while remaining unchanged for adolescent boys over the same period. As Lisa notes, stress and anxiety aren’t all bad, in fact, we can’t thrive without them. Understanding the difference between healthy and unhealthy forms of stress and anxiety is important if we are to help girls manage the tensions they feel.

‘When we confront what makes us uneasy – and help our daughters to do the same – we find that anxiety is usually a warning that something is amiss and that stress is inherent to growth and change’- Lisa Damour, Ph.D.

Healthy stress happens when we take on new challenges or do things that feel psychologically threatening. Pushing ourselves past familiar limits builds our capacity. Much of what our girls learn about managing stress comes from observing how adults manage it. Daughters watch parents for cues about how alarmed they should be by life’s difficulties. When we accept that stress often leads to growth, and help our girls do the same, we create a positive self-fulfilling prophecy. When we allow girls to persistently and continuously overexert themselves, they develop great confidence in their work ethic but not in their talents. We need to raise our girls to feel reassured that they can draw on both. Being low on self-assurance may have real and negative consequences not only at school but also into the working world. At Ruyton we recognise teachers are not simply facilitators of content and standards, rather we are social scientists, researchers and agents of change who occupy a unique position to impact student learning in ways that no grade, transcript, or standardised test can ever do. We challenge ourselves to continually improve, recognising that teaching and learning will only be effective if we continually reflect on the changing needs of learners and the best methodologies to provide rich learning experiences. As an act of continuing scholarship our educators conduct research, report their findings, and reflect on the research process itself. This process embeds and celebrates the culture of learning in our professional practice. In 2018 we launched the Anxiety to Empowerment Research Project at Ruyton, to understand the causes of academic worry for our girls and determine a clear schoolwide strategy focused on minimising and managing this worry. All of our teaching staff continue to be engaged in this research focus in 2019, refining practices and empowering every girl to flourish.   Ms Linda Douglas Principal Ruyton Girls’ School

Publish By
Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment Approximately 900 students
Fees 12k - 16k Over 16k
From $13,262 (Early Learning Centre) to $33,246 per annum (Year 12)
03 9819******* 03 9819 2422
03 9818******* 03 9818 4790
Address 12 Selbourne Road, Kew 3101
School Search

News & Advice
NSW to provide a year of free preschool for all families by 2030

Governor-General Presents Barker College Redbacks with Robotics Award

Sports Uniform Launch at Barker College

Barker College: PM's Prize for Excellence

De La Salle College Year 11 VCAL Students ‘Shave Dave’

A Re-imagined Sports Program for De La Salle College, Malvern

Meriden’s new Centre for Music and Drama declared open

Schools in NSW trialling extended hours

Governor-General Presents Barker College Redbacks with Prestigious International Robotics Award

Roseville College's Learning Festival 2022

About Us
Contact Us
Terms of Use

Call Of The Country
Education pathways for senior students
Healthy bodies, healthy minds
Preparatory Schools
Technology in Schools
Vic Education System