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Shifting Teacher Practice in Trauma-Affected Classrooms: Practice Pedagogy Strategies Within a Trauma-Informed Positive Education Model

  • Tom BrunzellEmail author
  • Helen Stokes
  • Lea Waters
Article

Abstract

This study explored how primary and secondary school teachers changed their practice pedagogy as they underwent training in trauma-informed positive education (Brunzell et al., Contemp School Psychol 20:63–83, 2016b.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40688-015-0070-x). TIPE integrates teaching strategies from two practice paradigms: trauma-informed education and positive education in order to educate vulnerable students who struggle in school due to trauma histories from abuse, neglect and/or violence. Over the course of 1 year, teachers (N = 18) co-designed and/or adapted TIPE through an iterative procedure of appreciative inquiry participatory action research. The aim was to strengthen teacher capacities in order to assist their students to overcome classroom-based adversity and to bolster their learning. This study privileged teachers’ phenomenological experience of TIPE by investigating the experiential aspects of planning for and implementing curriculum and classroom management. Two emergent themes were found in the qualitative data: (1) increasing relational capacity and (2) increasing psychological resources. These results were analysed through contemporary frames of teacher practice, which revision the purpose of teacher practice as a set of practice challenges to better assist teachers in educating their vulnerable student cohorts.

Keywords

Trauma-informed education Wellbeing Pedagogy Classroom strategies Healing Growth 

Notes

Funding

Funding was received through an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Melbourne Graduate School of EducationParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Youth Research CentreMelbourne Graduate School of EducationParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Centre of Positive PsychologyMelbourne Graduate School of EducationParkvilleAustralia

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