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Revolutionizing Education

Developing Trauma-Informed Teachers: The Story Of One Teacher Preparation Program

Ed Prep Matters features the “Revolutionizing Education” column to spotlight the many ways AACTE, member institutions, and partners are pioneering leading-edge research, models, strategies and programs that focus on the three core values outlined in the current AACTE strategic plan: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Quality and impact; and Inquiry and Innovation.

Long before the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) survey illustrated the dire consequences of adverse events on children, educators have known that today’s students are more stressed than previous generations. They face greater challenges developing executive functioning skills needed to succeed in social-emotional and academic tasks. Trauma-informed school approaches have flourished in an attempt to more effectively teach students suffering the consequences of home-based or social-cultural trauma. But we know that this challenge requires more than just offering teachers conferences or webinars on trauma-informed school techniques. We need multi-level systemic change in the way our profession conceptualizes what it truly means to incorporate advances in the neurobiology of trauma and learning.

In our open access, no cost text Trauma-Informed School Practices we address this challenge by detailing systemic change processes in the application of trauma-informed knowledge. The Trauma-Informed School Practices Tri-Phasic Model (diagram #1) outlines best-practices as applied to students. It is embedded in the Six Elements of Education System Change (diagram #2) needed to ensure a lasting incorporation of this paradigm shift. The reality is, we can’t place the burden of change on current teachers; all of us need to participate.

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