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ERIC Number: EJ855159
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug-15
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0009-4056
Building Resiliency to Childhood Trauma through Arts-Based Learning
Smilan, Cathy
Childhood Education, v85 n6 p380 Aug 2009
Natural disasters are among the numerous events known to have a significant probability of producing trauma in school-age children, given the critical mental, physical, social, and emotional development that occurs during childhood. Studies involving children who have experienced natural disasters point to a significant increase in psychological problems along the continuum from mild anxiety to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the event. The impact of these epic tragedies on children's emotional and cognitive well-being may lead to serious deficits in learning opportunities. Frost (2005) suggested that due to the epic disasters of the early 21st century, "Relief workers, teachers, and other professionals must address the effects of childhood trauma on a massive scale that will test their coping skills for the indefinite future" (p. 2). Educators are being called upon to facilitate healing in a tumultuous world, not merely for the sake of the learning and development of every child, but for humanity as a whole. Since teachers often spend a great deal of time with children, they must help students to process traumatic experiences to help avoid negative effects on their learning and emotional well-being. In this article, the author discusses how to build resiliency to childhood trauma through arts-based learning. The author also discusses some issues which educators must consider before they can develop learning activities to help students in processing traumatic experiences. A few suggestions for arts-based learning activities are presented.
Association for Childhood Education International. 17904 Georgia Avenue Suite 215, Olney, MD 20832. Tel: 800-423-3563; Tel: 301-570-2111; Fax: 301-570-2212; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A