Thursday 28 July 2022. Victoria Park, Brisbane.
Join this call to action to discover and put into practice evidence-based research and learnings addressing wellbeing, resilience and capability within the education sector and the ever-changing world we live in.
QeLI Summit speakers will challenge your current thinking and practice, drive you to consider the alternatives and inspire you to make positive change for yourself, your students and you community. Join with like-minded colleagues and gain practical strategies and takeaways to embark on a proactive approach to improved wellbeing.
The MacKillop Institute's Ben Sacco will be presenting on Trauma-Informed Practice in Schools:
There is a growing recognition nationally and internationally, in schools and educational organisations that complex childhood trauma has a detrimental impact to the developing body and brains during early childhood. Research tells us that adverse childhood experiences negatively impact a child’s ability to learn and engage with schooling in a productive manner and given the large amount of time that children spend at school, teachers have been identified as important stakeholders when helping children in the process of recovery and healing. The Royal Commission into Family Violence (Victoria 2014-2016), highlighted that schools are a service provider that could better respond to children with complex needs. Early childhood settings and schools being ideally placed to contribute to the development of vulnerable children due to the amount of contact they have with the child as well as the educator’s potential in forming quality relationships with children.
Trauma theory and the advent of trauma-informed approaches are based on the emerging research regarding child development and educational practices. By investigating the ways in which society can safeguard against child abuse, neglect and maltreatment and by focusing on early childhood development, communities can be educated about the ways in which a child’s adverse experiences can shape the way they see, feel and think about their world and the world around them. When seeking to understand the impacts of complex trauma there must be consideration given to understanding what has happened to a child and this is unpinned by the notion that adverse childhood experiences happens to a child not because of them.
Schools are learning more about how to support all children and particularly those who have historically been disadvantaged across their life course. This increase in evidence regarding trauma-informed practice within schools is very promising. If they can be consistently employed and adapted for all children, perhaps there would be a generation of children grow up with increased self-regulation, improved academic and social development, and better mental and physical health outcomes into adulthood. Perhaps the threat of complex trauma on the body and brain met with a buffer of secure attachment, unconditional positive regard and love would interrupt the cycle of trauma as these children become supportive and attentive parents, thus minimising the likelihood of subsequent generations experiencing complex trauma.
Our presentation will engage the learning process by enabling the audience to learn about building collaborative communities that shift attitudes, beliefs and behaviours about childhood adversity and hear about why schools are a critical system for delivering evidence-based interventions. Secondly, reflect on current practice in schools and how to create safe and predictable learning environments, reframing our approaches. We will then deepen their understanding of how to create the preconditions for improved teaching, learning and wellbeing and the application of research into daily practice.