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Supporting Every Child: Integrating Trauma-Informed Practices into the Elementary Setting

Wanchisn, Amy Susanne (2023) Supporting Every Child: Integrating Trauma-Informed Practices into the Elementary Setting. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Trauma is not a new term or concept, however, the integration of trauma-informed practices within the school setting has been a recent focus for many districts across the nation. School systems no longer focus solely on academics. Schools are charged with developing the academic, behavioral, and social-emotional competencies of students to help them reach their potential and set them up for future success. The COVID-19 pandemic intensified the focus on trauma as many Americans faced various types of trauma throughout the pandemic. With school systems returning to pre-pandemic instructional modes, the need to provide a trauma-sensitive approach for students is more apparent than ever before.
Trauma may be defined as a one-time event but trauma actually comes in many forms including those that are chronic or even generational. Understanding what trauma is and how it impacts an individual and those around them can support those impacted and assist in developing resilience, recovery, and post-traumatic growth. To better support students, schools are looking to integrate trauma-sensitive practices within the classroom and school setting.
This study involved the voluntary participation of the elementary staff members within the district. Through the professional development offerings, participants were provided a professional development series from the Trauma-Sensitive Schools training package designed by the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments which is funded by the United Stated Department of Education and is in partnership with the American Institutes for Research. The professional development focused on understanding trauma in a broad and inclusive way, learning how the brain and body respond to stress and trauma, recognizing the effects of trauma on students, staff, and schools; and applying knowledge of trauma to daily work through discussion and activities.
The study evaluated an intervention to determine its effectiveness in increasing participant knowledge, impacting instructional practices and increasing student support within the classroom setting. The study’s recommendations were designed to guide future implementation of the intervention at the district, local and state level.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wanchisn, Amy
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTrahan, Keithkwt2@pitt.edukwt2
Committee MemberKerr, Mary Margaretmmkerr@pitt.edummkerr
Committee MemberKirk, Dianedlk31@pitt.edudlk31
Date: 7 July 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 11 April 2023
Approval Date: 7 July 2023
Submission Date: 13 May 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 103
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: trauma, adolescence, effective instructional practices
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2023 20:13
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2023 20:13


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