Over the last few months, our nation's educators have been forced to be in a constant state of revaluation of educational practices to ensure that all children can continue to thrive during online learning and distance-learning. As the foundations of our educational systems have been tested by COVID-19, inequity in education has become much more visible and even exacerbated in some communities. Yet, some educators have used this difficult time to advocate for a new approach to teaching: a trauma-informed approach.
A trauma-informed approach to learning shifts the focus away from students' academic or behavioral deficits, and instead focuses on building relationships and learning environments that are conducive to social and emotional growth. Much of this shift requires the education community to consider equity as a facet of student success, as systemic racism, cultural backgrounds, and income level of students has massive impacts on behavior, academics, and social development. This type of education prioritizes the role of educators in providing the support that students need to grow into competent, confident, happy adults. All children are capable of thriving, and a trauma informed approach helps close the gaps between students who have the resources to thrive and those that do not.
Megan R. Holmes, Ph.D.
Founding Director, Center on Trauma and Adversity, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University
Habeebah R. Grimes, M.A., Psy.S., LSPSY
CEO, Positive Education Program