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What is trauma-informed education?
Learn about our trauma-informed training program for educators here.
First, we have to look at how trauma is defined.
Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event (including abuse, poverty, homelessness, neglect, war, etc.). The stress causes by trauma has less to do with the actual traumatic event and more to do with the individual’s impaired ability to cope. Trauma is an emotional shock that causes lasting psychological damage in the form of extreme stress. It can be threatening to an individual’s life, bodily integrity, and/or mental state.
Who can experience trauma?
Individuals from all backgrounds can experience and be impacted by trauma.
Trauma is not specific to any one type or event. It can come in many forms and from many different experiences, including physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse, poverty, homelessness, neglect, war, natural disaster, significant changes within the family, etc.
Unfortunately, due to the diverse nature of trauma, it is likely that an individual will be faced with its detrimental effects at least once in their lifetime.
How does trauma impact an individual’s ability to access education?
Trauma can result in an individual having feelings of vulnerability, helplessness, and fear. Because of this, trauma can affect the individual’s fundamental beliefs about themselves and others.
Individuals who have recently been exposed to trauma struggle to focus on growing with their education. They first need to experience the feeling of basic security again before being able to grow intellectually.
How does trauma-informed education help students in accessing education?
Trauma-informed education techniques equip educators of all types to create safe-spaces for their students. In addition, trauma-informed educational practices help educators learn cross-cultural nuance, identify deep emotional injuries, and manage strong emotion and conflict, among other critical skills necessary in a successful classroom environment.