Trauma Informed Education


We seek to engage and partner with all school districts and parents across southern New Jersey to build awareness and responsiveness to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and traumatic stress in children/adolescents , to promote and improve youth mental health.

Research Project Summary

Neuroscience research shows that traumatized children often exhibit disruptive behaviors that challenge parents, mental health, and educational systems. Educational systems understand that learning is an ongoing effort, but not even the best graduate programs produce teachers that are prepared to meet all the emotional needs of the 21st century student. Teachers are recruited based on their formal education, knowledge, skills, and ability to impart learning. However, many teachers are unprepared to meet the behavioral and mental health challenges of students. Trauma Informed Education (TIE) is an approach to build trauma informed care in classrooms, and to integrate TIE in educational systems. This innovative practice model was born out of a desire to help public schools create a sustainable whole school approach to trauma as part of the school culture and curriculum. This project aims to increase knowledge of TIE in schools. It is believed that integrating population health education approaches with trauma informed education will create a wholistic approach to meeting the educational and behavioral health needs of students.

Teachers are on the front lines of education and have longer contact with student. Thus, equipping teachers with knowledge and skills that address the effects of traumatic stress in childhood education, will bridge gaps and promote measurable health and social outcomes for students. TIE will allow for the creation of trauma responsive schools that improve academic performance, behavioral, and social outcomes. TIE is also believed. will reduce mental health disparities and COVID-19 related impacts on the mental health of students.

Research Project Goals

The aim of this research project is to introduce Trauma Informed Education (TIE) to public schools in southern New Jersey. The goals are: • To increase teachers’ understanding and awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), traumatic stress, and resilience science.

• To teach trauma informed care practices to teachers, teaching assistants, and administrators in public schools.

• To investigate the impact of trauma informed education on students, teachers, and administrators.

Research Project Objectives

In this research project, we intend to explore how teachers’ understanding of adverse childhood experiences, toxic stress, and/or traumatic stress impacts students’ behaviors, and student-teacher relationships in schools. The objectives of this research are as follows:

• To determine teachers and administrators’ awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

• To assess teachers and administrators understanding of resilience science, and the biomedical consequences of toxic stress.

• To employ trauma informed care practices to improve teachers’ knowledge and skills that build positive student-teacher relationships and reduce the risk of re-traumatization of students.

• To assess educators’ knowledge of the consequences of toxic and traumatic stress on student-teacher relationship using questionnaires and surveys.