Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2022

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Jed Locquiao


Trauma, Middle School, Student, Special Education, Trauma Informed



Trauma-informed classrooms refer to implementation of trauma-informed strategies in classrooms such that the learning environment is cognizant of the effects of trauma on the social and educational life of a child (McInerney & McKlindon, 2014). In trauma-informed classrooms, teachers do not assume the presence of trauma among the pupils; rather, the teachers utilize additional classroom resources so as to provide a welcoming and stable environment for all students.

About one half to two-thirds of children experience trauma (McInerney & McKlindon, 2014). Yet, neglecting this problem has detrimental effects on the ability of children to cope and learn in school. It became apparent that the effects of traumatic events in the lives of children had a huge impact on academic performance, social-emotional development and behavior. As such, it is critical to include trauma-informed practices in classrooms to meet the needs of such pupils. Although research has been done in the domain of trauma-informed classroom practices, little has been done with regard to special education. The aim of this project is to help middle-school teachers to understand the role of trauma and its impact on middle-school children.

Additionally, the research will show how trauma-informed strategies can be integrated in K-12 classrooms. Their research was concluded by offering concrete suggestions on how to best implement trauma-informed care in K-12 learning environments including students receiving special education services. Dohlen et al. (2019) proposed a methodology for assisting students who have experienced traumatic events and challenging them to ensure that they develop resilience. School-wide multi-tiered systems of supports were shown to be particularly effective according to the findings. Synthesizing the findings by these studies helped me devise robust and evidence-based approaches for addressing trauma among middle-school children.

Included in

Education Commons



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