Education and Trauma: How Schools can Successfully Educate Students Suffering from the Effects of Trauma


Spring 3-15-2015



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Kathryn A. Campbell

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Letitia E. Basford

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Brynn K. Peterson


The research question addressed in this project was, how can teachers and schools successfully educate youth experiencing the effects of trauma and chronic stress? This project recounts the experiences of an urban, secondary teacher and her journey in trying to figure out how to best reach her most challenging students. Through a half-day conference on working with students suffering from the effects of trauma, it became clear that a better understanding of this topic was essential for teachers working with high-needs students. Through a qualitative study involving interviews with educators who have substantial experience working with high-needs students; a list of twelve steps for schools and classrooms to become more trauma sensitive was compiled. This project focuses on how the brain is effected by trauma, how discipline tactics within schools influences the success of high-needs students, and how schools can work towards becoming more trauma aware and sensitive.


At-risk Students, Brain-based Learning, Social Justice, Trauma

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