Saturday, 2 November 2013

Trauma-Informed Pedagogy & Practice :)

Trauma informed, trauma 
specific educational and 
practical approach that 
promotes health, well-being, 
and sustainable pathways of 
positive change for your 

Trauma informed, trauma specific educational and practical approach that promotes health, well-being, and sustainable pathways of positive change for your students.

What we know
Barwon Learning Centre played host to Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson who ran two school development days for staff, parents, caregivers and community members which focused on Intergenerational Trauma and Healing. From this Professional development, we know that some children grow up in safe environments and others experience trauma.

What works
Barwon Learning Centre has since adopted a more holistic approach to behaviour management than is commonly practiced within the education system.

Instead of a consequence-based approach that relies on punitive measures to coerce appropriate behaviour; at Barwon Learning Centre we identify inappropriate behaviour as being a symptom of a larger social discomfort felt by the student.

That being the case, Barwon Learning Centre recognises that there are more effective ways of engaging students who were not self-regulating appropriately, than punish them for their inability to behave as expected.

Instead of punishment, BLC promotes a repair model of behaviour adjustment. One of the most important aspects of this approach is providing an environment where students see good behaviour constantly modelled in front of them by their teachers, and where their efforts to do the same are acknowledged and rewarded with praise. When students are unable to adopt good behaviours they are not challenged in confrontational ways where detailed consequences can often escalate an easily diffused incident, to a traumatic episode.
The reparative model is underpinned by modalities of Indigenous healing promoted by the Healing Foundation, and of peer reviewed best practice of behaviour management, as documented in the Calmer Classroom initiative, commissioned by the Victorian Child Safety Commissioner. These approaches are reparative and restorative.
This philosophical point of departure from past practice forms the basis of a whole of school social skills teaching matrix, that distills all of these elements into a program called ‘educare' which has transformed the way in which negative behaviour is managed at Barwon Learning Centre.

To further develop and embed the concepts of Educare at Barwon Learning Centre we have developed six healing modalities that align within ‘We Al-li’ cultural tools for healing, because at Barwon Learning Centre we are able to recognise that our children and their families are in trauma. The strongest cultural tools have been found to be music, dance, art, theatre, body work and nature discovery.


This book introduces readers to a culturally safe and competent practical delivery in response to working with Developmental Trauma in children, within a complex trauma environment. You will begin to recognise the strengths of an educare model in working with children and their families and be able to respond with tools for healing childhood trauma within the educational setting. You will be encouraged to identify self-care as a practice essential to avoid vicarious trauma or burnout.

The aim of this book is to develop a trauma informed workforce with skills for trauma specific practice.

The objective of this book is to provide a practical approach for people within the educational setting with responsibility to provide culturally safe environments through culturally competent practice, for children experiencing developmental trauma, living within family/community environments experiencing generational complex trauma.

At the completion of this book you should be able to:
  •        Recognise the strengths of an Educare model in working with children and their families.
  •        Describe and respond with tools of healing childhood trauma from within a whole of curriculum framework.
  •        Use cultural tools for healing trauma with an understanding of a trauma specific focus.
  •        Show the links between the use of cultural tools in healing and our new curriculum of Creative Arts.
  •        Develop a classroom specific action plan in relation with a practical delivery of healing tools in response to the needs of children with trauma backgrounds.
  •        Identify self-care as an essential to lessen vicarious trauma or burnout in the workplace.

“I really like drumming because it makes me feel really calm. I can hit the drum hard and it makes me feel better”

“I really like dancing because I can feel the music inside me from my head to my toes”

“I really like art because I can draw what I feel. There isn’t any mistakes in art.” 

“I really like drama because I get to be different characters and act different to me. It is really fun.”

“I like body work because it makes me feel calm and safe”

“I really like nature discovery because I love going outside and learning new things.” 

Stay tuned for the english and math program reveal !!! 

Feel free to ask any questions, I'd be happy to answer! 


1 comment:

  1. Hi Kylie,

    I just wanted to let you know I love reading your blog and have nominated you for a Liebster Award. Hopefully it will help to send some more traffic your way. Have a look at my blog,, tomorrow morning to find out how to participate and share the love between some smaller (but fantastic) blogs.

    Mrs Wansink, Teacher on Training Wheels