Jessica Powell

Trauma-informed education strategies: do they work?

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Trauma-aware practice is becoming ever more popular in schools as teachers attempt to find new ways of tackling challenging behaviour and supporting vulnerable young people. But it is coming under heavy attack, with critics saying it actually makes behaviour worse. Jessica Powell delves into a debate mired in confusion and controversy

Trauma-informed education strategies: do they work?

Carrie* is not your average 13-year-old student. She was born into violence and neglect and lived in 15 foster homes before finally settling with her adoptive parents.

“The room she was going to have in our home had a cupboard that looked like a second door,” her mum remembers. “The social workers said she’d be terrified someone was going to come through it – people had come into her house and stabbed her mother – so we had to plaster over it. We couldn’t pretend somebody comes down the chimney at Christmas. It would have freaked her out.”

Imagining that danger is looming everywhere is ...

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