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Educator perspectives on teaching students from traumatic backgrounds and the potential for reflective circles

Abstract

Educators are involved in complex, interpersonal and emotionally demanding work on a daily basis. In many schools this includes working with students with extreme and challenging behaviours, many of whom come from traumatic backgrounds. This work requires educators to have high levels of self-awareness, emotional understanding, empathy and calm. Despite this, limited attention has been paid to processes which might support the educator in the development and strengthening of these interpersonal aspects of their work. We report on the results from initial interviews with teachers and principals in three low SES schools in regional Victoria and introduce a model of critical reflection (Reflective Circles) adapted for an education context. Findings highlight the challenges educators currently experience and their reasons for participating in Reflective Circles.

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Correspondence to Anne E. Southall.

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Southall, A.E., Gardner, F. & Baxter, L.P. Educator perspectives on teaching students from traumatic backgrounds and the potential for reflective circles. Aust. Educ. Res. 49, 675–689 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-021-00455-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-021-00455-7

Keywords

  • Education
  • Trauma
  • Critical reflection