Trauma-Informed School Practices: Building Expertise To Transform Schools
Anna A. Berardi
Brenda M. Morton
Copyright Year: 2019
ISBN 13: 978-0-9998292-2-6
Publisher: George Fox University Library
Conditions of Use
At a time when everyone is being asked to implement "Trauma-Informed Practices" in educational communities, this text stands out as one of the most thorough and comprehensive resources for anyone looking to do this work well. Many resources gloss... read more
At a time when everyone is being asked to implement "Trauma-Informed Practices" in educational communities, this text stands out as one of the most thorough and comprehensive resources for anyone looking to do this work well. Many resources gloss over or omit important aspects of this work such as the contextual factors and systemic pressures that influence the prevalence of trauma, as well as the role of identity of the educator in this work - two topics that are included in this text in some detail.
This text provides accurate information with reference to various theories and contexts. It includes a broader perspective from which to view the work of creating trauma-informed educational communities, which allow for a more accurate discussion and application of strategies to be applied.
Content is up to date and includes relevant and current examples and trends as contexts for learning. In this field, much of what is being sold to schools and to teachers is the 'golden ticket' program that will 'solve all of your problems'. Not only does this text acknowledge that this is happening, but situated itself within this context as a useful tool for any educator to use as these programs are rolled out, with which to evaluate effectiveness and thoroughness of any such program.
The authors come from different fields (one from education and one from mental health) which provides a well-explained deeper look at the mental health aspects of this work, as well as the practical application side of implementing this work in school settings. The text is clear and provides adequate context and explanation of all technical terminology.
Text is consistent and draws from a variety of fields and perspectives.
The design of this text is very easy to use as modules. Within each section, each chapter focuses on one aspect of the work and several useful color coded boxes with text that preface each chapter and can be referenced for modules (i.e. Desired Outcomes, Key Concepts, Overview, etc).
Organization of content is logical and easy to follow.
Easy to read, no issues observed.
Text is well written and contains no errors that I noticed.
While the authors go to great lengths to include information about various populations of students and parents, and the ways in which systemic factors might influence their experiences of trauma and access to support after an event, many of the frameworks used to discuss the concept of trauma are from a similar perspective. If using this text for a course, it would be recommended to look into supplemental resources to provide more ways of viewing the prevalence of trauma. For example, an exploration of the ways in which white supremacy and colonization have and still contribute to the way trauma occurs, is acknowledged, and is exacerbated in educational communities.
This textbook is much more than a textbook. It is, in a sense, an entire course. While there is not an index/glossary, the text clearly defines terms, and builds in reminders of relevant terminology. Not only is this text helpful when thinking... read more
This textbook is much more than a textbook. It is, in a sense, an entire course. While there is not an index/glossary, the text clearly defines terms, and builds in reminders of relevant terminology. Not only is this text helpful when thinking about trauma for personal knowledge, it is a handbook for re-designing educational spaces, including classrooms and schools, to better meet the needs of children who experience trauma. The text includes handouts, assessment tools and connections to relevant resources.
As a certified Trauma Sensitive School Facilitator, I have been involved in multi-year projects that have utilized processes and procedures as described in this text. I find the information is current, accurate, and written in an accessibly way. It is introducing best practices in the field of Trauma Informed Practice.
This text is relevant across multiple positions within educational settings, and includes information specific to teachers, social workers, therapists, administrators, and community members. Often, parents and community members are left out of this conversation, and I appreciate the authors’ addition of this population. One weakness in most Trauma resources is the absence or limited reference to trauma as it relates to issues of social identity, particularly in terms of racialized violence and sustained poverty. Overall, this text leaves space for those conversations, though the field needs to improve this overall. As we continue to learn about how the brain and body respond to adverse childhood experiences, the text can be easily updated.
The text is clear and accessible. In particular, I appreciate the organization that provides foundational information, plans for implementing the practice and ways to sustain trauma informed practices. The text provides clear examples and vocabulary support. The resources are clearly marked, and the links to outside sources work.
The text is consistent in its presentation and structure. The chapters are consistent in structure, the pop-outs with additional information, case studies, vocabulary support and resources follow a pattern. I know where to look in each chapter for specific information.
The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course. In fact, in the work I have done as a trauma informed practice facilitator in schools, we often use a very similar breakdown of the modules presented here—it is presented in a way that is seen as best practice in the field. Ideally, each section will allow for presentation, application and reflection as it is written—the foundations will need to be learned before moving to the implementation phase. However, these are easy to break down by chapter.
The text is developmentally appropriate in its organization. The foundational pieces are important in painting the overall picture of why we need trauma informed practices in schools, and gives a strong overview of how the body is affected by trauma, especially in childhood. The foundations will be useful for most helping professionals, and the implantation and sustaining sections of the text are useful and practical.
The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader. It is organized well, and the links all work. While the text is not particularly colorful or full of pictures, it does provide various pop-out boxes, charts with links, resource lists with live links, etc. All of the links I interacted with worked well.
I have no concerns about the grammatical aspects of the text. All of the citations seemed correct.
I did not see any red-flags regarding the cultural sensitivity of this text. The field still has a way to go in terms of including the intersections of trauma and racialized violence and sustained extreme poverty in creating trauma informed schools. This text does leave space for those conversations at various points in the text, thought it does provide extended information about the social factors related to trauma, which is consistent with the field overall.
I was pleasantly surprised to come across this text. I’ve been working with a group of people for many years on trauma informed practices in schools, and it was so nice to see all of this information in one place. I strongly recommend this text for educators as they consider how they might build more compassionate schools by using trauma informed practices that lead to student success.
Table of Contents
Section I: Foundational Principles of Trauma-Informed School Practices
- Chapter 1: The State of Public Schools
- Chapter 2: Optimum Development and Academic Readiness
- Chapter 3: When Stress and Trauma Overwhelm Coping Resources
- Chapter 4: Trauma and Classroom Impact
- Chapter 5: Trauma-Informed Response Best Practices
- Chapter 6: The Trauma-Informed School Practices Tri-Phasic Model
Section II: Implementing Trauma-Informed School Practices
- Chapter 7: Planning for Transition to Trauma-Informed School Practices: District, School, and Educator Considerations
- Chapter 8: Implementing Trauma-Informed School Practices in the Classroom
- Chapter 9: Responding to Behavioral Disruptions Using Trauma-Informed School Practices: Principles and Practices
Section III: Sustaining Trauma-Informed School Practices
- Chapter 10: Orienting and Supporting Parents as TISP Co-Facilitators
- Chapter 11: Applying Trauma-Informed School Practices to Educator Competencies
- Chapter 12: Nurturing Effective and Sustainable Trauma-Informed School Practices
About the Book
This textbook represents the combined insight and experience of Morton, a k12 educator, and Berardi, a psychotherapist, both of whom are also university educators with extensive work experience serving districts and their teachers seeking to incorporate trauma-informed principles into their school culture and classroom. The authors identify that the field of education is now ready to deepen its level of response to the paradigm shift created by advances in neuroscience and traumatology. Hence, the primary focus is on identifying and applying trauma-informed educator competencies needed to transform districts, schools, educators, classrooms, and the field of education itself, while also including community members such as parents and board members in these processes - a total system makeover. At the conclusion of this text, the student, educator, or mental health professional will have a deeper understanding of what trauma-informed practice requires of them. This includes practical strategies on how to transform our learning communities in response to the devastating effect of unmitigated stress and trauma on our student's ability to learn and thrive throughout the lifespan.
About the Contributors
Anna Berardi, Ph.D., is the founder and director of the Trauma Response Institute, and a tenured professor of marriage and family therapy in the Graduate School of Counseling at George Fox University—Portland, Oregon. Anna began her work as a social worker, and is a licensed and practicing psychotherapist, utilizing best-practice trauma-informed approaches such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) to facilitate healing processes for individuals and couples impacted by the lingering effects of trauma. For the past 25 years she has advocated for the needs of marginalized and under-served populations through the training of mental health professionals, including school counselors and school psychologists, serving various communities in the Pacific Northwest. Anna’s scholarly publications and conference presentations primarily focus on clinical supervision and training, social justice advocacy, and trauma-informed care.
Brenda Morton, EdD., is a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Education at George Fox University. She taught middle and high school at both public and private schools in Oregon and is a licensed administrator. In 2009, Brenda joined the faculty at George Fox University School of Education, where she works in teacher preparation with undergraduate and graduate students. Early on in her career, Brenda recognized the needs of at-risk youth and began to focus on this specific group of vulnerable learners. In 2010, Brenda and her family became a foster family to a sibling group of four. The challenges and joys of foster parenting led her to focus her dissertation on academic outcomes of foster youth. Her dissertation was an extension of her love for at-risk youth and deep desire to understand, connect, and create a path forward. To that end, she earned certification as a National Dropout Prevention Specialist and a post-doctoral certification in Trauma Response.