Capstone Project Title

Best Practices To Help Students Overcome The Effects Of Trauma: For The Goal To Further Cognitive, Physical, Emotional And Behavioral Student Development


Spring 2018


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Susan Manikowski


The research question addressed in the project was, how trauma affects childhood and adolescent development, and what best practices can help students overcome the effects of trauma? It synthesizes literary reviews on the general physiological effects of trauma, diagnosis of trauma and stress related disorders, personal resiliency, and efficacious therapies for trauma and trauma related disorders. It documents one teacher’s creation of a curriculum that incorporates complementary alternative methods of therapy for trauma and trauma related disorders, such as animal assisted therapy, agritherapy, positive reappraisal, journal writing and lavender aromatherapy. It is an interdisciplinary curriculum which uses problem based learning. The author documents the curriculum framework and research to validate how this tool can help students, who are struggling to overcome trauma, not only cope with trauma while in the classroom but also continue to develop physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. She describes the project outline and provides sample lessons with time frames and standards. She explains informal implementation of the curriculum, limitations, future outlook, such as intentional animal assisted therapies in education, and other implications.

Project Type



At-risk Students, Interdisciplinary Teaching, Staff Development, Mental Health

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