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Trauma-Aware Education

Essential Information and Guidance for Educators, Education Sites and Education Systems
By Dr Judith Howard


incl GST

Now, more than ever, in a world of stress, disadvantage and unpredictability, schools struggle to manage the confronting needs of some of our most disadvantaged and vulnerable learners. Increasing numbers of children exhibit chronic and challenging behaviour due to their prior or current exposure to complex trauma. This type of trauma stems from repeated interpersonal harm done to children, including physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, significant neglect, and the experience of family or other relational violence.

Complex trauma is also referred to as ‘Developmental Trauma’, ‘Type II Trauma’, ‘Big T Trauma’, and ‘Betrayal Trauma’. It disrupts necessary attachments and is often directed at infants and children by the very people they depend on for love, nurture, and protection. Complex childhood trauma can impact the neural development of children, and if not resolved, this impact can extend into adulthood and influence the future caregiving styles and behaviours of victims.

Research has shown us that these learners require a ‘trauma-aware’ response. Behaviour management techniques that may work for most learners often fail when used with trauma-impacted children. This book assists educators from an individual and system perspective in developing trauma-aware education frameworks to enable learners and educators to avoid the devastating effects of complex trauma on mental health. It examines and discusses the impacts of complex and other trauma on learners and how trauma-aware education provides an informed approach to remedy these concerns.

Topics covered include:

• the impacts of complex trauma

• the evidence-base for trauma-aware education

• a paradigm shift in the way learner behaviours are ‘managed’

• effective strategies for a trauma-aware education response

• working with learners who live with disability

• a trauma-aware approach for early childhood education and care

• maintaining well-being for educators

• leadership of trauma-aware education in sites and systems.