Assessing the Impact of Trauma-Informed Training and Coaching for Pre-Professional and Early Career Educators

Schools and educators that take a trauma-informed approach can be a critical resource for reducing inequality by improving educational and social-emotional outcomes among students exposed to trauma. However, many educators enter the profession ill-equipped to support the complex needs of students exposed to trauma. This lack of training and preparation is not only a barrier to student success, but also negatively impacts the educator and leads to high levels of teacher burnout and poor teacher retention.

Investigators from Lurie Children's Hospital Center for Childhood Resilience are working with Golden Apple leaders to develop a trauma-informed framework aligned to the Golden Apple Scholars program model. The framework will emphasize the need for trauma informed classroom practices and schools to actively promote a sense of safety for students, actively promote positive relationships and connectedness for students and staff, and actively incorporate support for the development of emotion regulation in the context of exposure to trauma. The program will include both pre-professional training for students that are poised to enter their first year of teaching, and ongoing coaching via the educators that serve as mentors for new teachers in their first and second years of teaching on how to infuse trauma-informed practices into their mentoring.

PI: Dr. Tali Raviv
Collaborators: Golden Apple Foundation
CCR Staff: Jason Washburn, PhD; Caryn Curry, MSW; Tara Gill, PhD; Carmen Holley, LCSW; Hayley Goldenthal, MA; Paris Singleton, PhD

Approach/Methodology: This is a longitudinal cohort study, in which two successive cohorts of Golden Apple Scholars will be followed over the course of two years. These two cohorts will receive different dosage of trauma-informed training (Cohort 1: training alone; Cohort 2: training plus mentoring) to examine whether there is a dosage effect of the program. Data will be collected via surveys as well as classroom observations conducted at three times during years 1 and years 2 of teaching.

Hypotheses:

  1. We hypothesize that trauma-informed training and mentoring will empower new educators to recognize signs and symptoms of students impacted by trauma, develop trauma-sensitive classroom strategies and practices, identify students in need of mental health screening or intervention and increase referral of those students to school or community based mental health supports.

  2. We hypothesize that building self-awareness within Golden Apple Scholars and Mentors about the ways in which supporting students exposed to trauma affects their own health and wellness, and providing them with training on strategies for attending to self-care will promote professional and personal well-being, positively impact professional satisfaction and increase placement retention of educators.

Funded by the Golden Apple Foundation