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Abstract

In order to assess and then to identify promising approaches for school leadership within rural communities, it can be helpful to reframe struggling schools as trauma-affected schools. Acknowledging the impacts of childhood trauma on students and their learning allows school leaders to undertake professional learning both with and for their schools to become trauma-aware. Embedded within a rural community located in a region contending with intergenerational disadvantage, the findings reported in this study suggest that when school leaders deliberately implemented trauma-aware practice as a whole-school approach for all staff members, there was growth in student academic outcomes. In addition to this, implications for leaders include the importance of engaging with effective professional learning to assist in the implementation of a whole school approach to trauma informed positive education. This in turn leads to reported growth in student wellbeing outcomes and increased collective teacher efficacy.

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