Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2019 Issue »

    Educators’ Secondary Traumatic Stress, Children’s Trauma, and the Need for Trauma Literacy

    HAL A. LAWSON, JAMES C. CARINGI, RUTH GOTTFRIED, BRIAN E. BRIDE, and STEPHEN P. HYDON
    In this essay, authors Lawson, Caringi, Gottfried, Bride, and Hydon introduce the concept of trauma literacy, connecting it to students’ trauma and educators’ secondary traumatic stress (STS). Interactions with traumatized students is one cause of STS; others derive from other traumatic encounters in schools and communities. Undesirable effects of STS start with professional disengagement and declining performance, include spill-over effects into educators’ personal lives, and, ultimately, may cause them to leave the profession. The authors contend that alongside trauma-informed pedagogies and mental health services for students, mechanisms are needed for STS prevention, early identification, and rapid response. To benefit from and advance this dual framework, educators need a trauma-informed literacy that enables self-care, facilitates and safeguards interactions with trauma-impacted students and colleagues, and paves the way for expanded school improvement models.

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    Hal A. Lawson holds a joint appointment in the School of Education and the School of Social Welfare, University at Albany, State University of New York. He also contributes to the literatures in public health and kinesiology. His work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Educational Change, Educational Administration Quarterly, Peabody Journal of Education, and Family and Community Health. His books include Innovation in Odds-Beating Schools: Exemplars of Getting Better at Getting Better (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) and Developing Community Schools, Community Learning Centers, Extended-Service, and Multi-Service Schools: International Exemplars for Practice, Policy, and Research (Springer International, 2016). 

    James C. Caringi, a professor and chair in the University of Montana’s School of Social Work, is a licensed clinical social worker with considerable practice experience with diverse populations in several locales. His research and development interests encompass primary and secondary traumatic stress, adverse childhood experiences, participatory action research, and both professional and interprofessional team formation and collaboration. His work has been published in Research on Social Work Practice, Journal of Family Strengths, Traumatology, Journal of Public Child Welfare, and Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, and he is coauthor (with Hal Lawson, Janine Jurkowski, Loretta Pyles, and Christine Bozlak) of Participatory Action Research (Oxford University Press, 2015). As a certified Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) “Master Trainer,” Caringi is committed to raising awareness about the impact of child abuse and neglect nationally. Promoting social justice drives all his work. 

    Ruth Gottfried is a lecturer and codirector of the Inclusion of Pupils with Learning and Behavioral Difficulties MEd program at the David Yellin Academic College of Education in Jerusalem, Israel. She is also an affiliated researcher at the Haruv Institute of the Hebrew University and at the Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research Center of the University of Haifa. Gottfried’s research focuses primarily on the topics of secondary traumatic stress and child maltreatment. She is coauthor (with Brian Bride) of “Trauma-Secondary, Vicarious, Compassion Fatigue” in the Encyclopedia of Social Work (National Association of Social Workers and Oxford University Press, 2018). She also authored “The Israeli Child Protection System” in National Systems of Child Protection: Understanding the International Context for Developing Policy and Practice (R. D. Krugman, J. Fluke, and L. Merkel-Holguin, eds.; Springer, 2019).

    Brian E. Bride is Distinguished University Professor and director of the School of Social Work at Georgia State University. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of behavioral health care, primary and secondary traumatic stress, health services research, HIV/AIDS, and workforce well-being. He is the developer of the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale and has received a number of honors as a result of his research on secondary traumatic stress, including the Creative Research Medal from the University of Georgia. Bride is former editor-in-chief of Traumatology, published by the American Psychological Association. 

    Stephen P. Hydon is a clinical professor at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California. He was recently appointed president-elect of the American Council on School Social Work Board and is a consultant to the US Department of Education, training nationwide on compassion fatigue, educator resilience, and Psychological First Aid. Hydon has lectured on secondary traumatic stress internationally, in such locations as Manilla, Philippines, and Hyogo, Japan. He is a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s (NCTSN) Treatment and Services Adaptation Center for Resiliency, Hope and Wellness in Schools and serves as the liaison to the NCTSN’s Terrorism and Disaster Committee. 
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    Fall 2019 Issue

    Abstracts

    Money over Merit?
    Socioeconomic Gaps in Receipt of Gifted Services
    Jason A. Grissom, Christopher Redding, and Joshua F. Bleiberg

    Book Notes

    Borders of Belonging
    Heide Castañeda

    Under Pressure
    Lisa Damour

    Awakening Democracy Through Public Work
    Harry C. Boyte, with contributions from Marie Ström, Isak Tranvik, Tami Moore, Susan O’Connor, and Donna Patterson

    The Privileged Poor
    Anthony Abraham Jack

    The Human Side of Changing Education
    Julie M. Wilson, foreword by Arthur Levine