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ERIC Number: EJ1104054
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1918-5227
Bringing Trauma to School: Sharing the Educational Experience of Three Youths
Dods, Jennifer
Exceptionality Education International, v25 n1 p112-135 2015
Experiencing a traumatic event can impact students' well-being and jeopardize their academic achievement and social-emotional health. A quarter of all students will experience a traumatic life event before they graduate from high school (Costello, Erkanli, Fairbank, & Angold, 2002), necessitating an understanding of how trauma affects students in the school context. This paper brings the perspectives of three youths to the forefront and explores their educational experiences and their perception of the role schools play in supporting students who bring trauma to school. A qualitative case study design and personal interviews with the youth led to the findings reported here. The presentation and management of the trauma and resulting stress differed among participants, and overall school experiences ranged from very negative to very positive. Participants were more unified in their perceptions of what they wanted from schools and the role that school could play. Themes across cases emphasized the importance of teacher driven, supportive, caring relationships, and the need for schools to focus on student well-being as well as academic functioning. The protective nature of school connectedness, in increasing engagement and decreasing at-risk behaviours and emotional distress (Blum, 2005; Bond et al., 2007; Klem & Connell, 2004; McNeeley, Nonnemaker, & Blum, 2002), holds promise for students with traumatic stress.
Exceptionality Education International. University of Alberta, Department of Educational Psychology, 6-102 Education North, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G5, Canada. Tel: 780-492-0800; Fax: 780-492-1318; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A