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Trauma-informed Teaching: Exploring a New Paradigm

Trauma-informed Teaching: Exploring a New Paradigm

Trauma-informed teaching is a new paradigm that helps educators create safe and supportive learning environments for students who have experienced trauma. This post will explore the basics of trauma-informed education and how it can be used in schools to help promote healthy development in children.

What is Trauma-informed teaching?

Trauma-informed teaching is a new model that emerged in the early 21st century after researchers explored how psychological trauma-affected student learning. Although not widely implemented, Trauma-informed teaching has been shown to increase students' academic achievement and success rates.

What are some of the fundamental principles?

In a Trauma-informed teaching approach, all staff members must understand how trauma impacts student learning and behaviour. This includes teachers as well as support personnel such as transport staff and lunchtime catering assistants within the education setting.

All students will be given coping mechanisms for dealing with their reactions to the traumatic events they have experienced. It is recommended that these tools and strategies be understood by and taught to staff members to ensure a joined-up approach.

Trauma-informed teaching focuses on the social, emotional and academic needs of students. This includes basic necessities such as food or shelter in addition to individual counselling services for each student.

How can Trauma-informed teaching help?

Studies have shown that when trauma-sensitive practices are implemented correctly, they increase student achievement, reduce dropout rates, and improve school climate for all staff members.

Employing Trauma-informed teaching practices can also help build a rapport with students who are not used to trusting adults. This is especially important when working with children raised in the foster care system or victims of trafficking.

Trauma-educated teachers understand that trauma impacts student learning and behaviour. Therefore, through informed practice, they are more likely to build trust with their students, reduce disciplinary actions, and increase academic achievement.

Who is Trauma-informed Teaching for?

Trauma-informed teaching benefits all staff members, students, and parents. It can be especially helpful in school districts that have experienced a traumatic incident or ongoing exposure to violence.

However, trauma-sensitive practices are not recommended for everyone. This model should only be implemented by trained professionals who understand how it works and how it can be used to benefit all students.

Trauma-informed teaching is especially beneficial when working with children from violent backgrounds, victims of human trafficking or those raised in foster care. It allows teachers to establish a rapport and trust that may not have been possible before Trauma-informed Teaching was implemented at their school.

How is Trauma-informed teaching implemented?

Trauma-informed teaching has different levels of implementation.

One method that can be used takes the form of educating staff members on how trauma impacts student learning and behaviour. This allows teachers to learn more about their students before they enter the classroom, creating a better rapport.

Another method is for teachers and support staff to complete an intensive training on how trauma impacts brain development. This allows educators to fully understand why certain behaviours may be exhibited by their students, enabling them to respond more appropriately.

Trauma-informed teaching can be implemented at schools through trauma-sensitive practices within the classroom. These practices can be as simple as:

  • Clarify your role with the student.
  • Establish yourself as a safe individual.
  • Create an environment of respect.
  • Give the student opportunities to make choices.
  • Talk about safety and what steps you will take to help the student be and feel safe

This training is most effective when it targets both teachers and students.

The schools that have implemented Trauma-Informed Teaching report better school climate increased academic achievement, and reduced discipline infractions between staff members and students.

Which age groups benefit from Trauma-informed Teaching?

Trauma-informed teaching has been shown to benefit all students, regardless of age. However, it has been found that the younger a child is when they first receive trauma-sensitive practices, the better their long-term outcomes will be.

It is essential for children who have experienced violent events or those from backgrounds where violence and neglect are commonplace to learn coping mechanisms as early as possible. These students will benefit the most from Trauma-Informed Teaching.

Best Practices on Trauma-informed Teaching

Trauma-Informed teaching is not a new concept for schools but rather an expansion of existing practices that have been used successfully for years.

Educators who have undergone trauma training understand how to incorporate it into their daily practices. For example, they are more likely to use verbal de-escalation strategies when dealing with angry or upset students.

Educators who have trauma training also understand how important it is for children to trust the adults in their lives. They, therefore, build rapport by being consistent and having regular communication with their student's parents and carers about school events, progress and even personal issues.

Such practices develop trust between the student, their teachers, and parents/carers. This, in turn, helps students feel safe at school, which can lead to better academic achievement over time.


The paradigm of trauma-informed education is an emerging concept that has already shown significant results when it comes to teaching. A growing body of research on this new approach shares how students exposed to more trauma-informed practices in their classroom tend to be less disruptive and show better academic performance than those without these available resources.

If you learned something new today, don't forget to share this article with someone who could benefit from it as well!

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