Action Research Projects
A clear way to embed trauma integrative practice into schools and other learning environments is to utilize the specific and unique needs and strengths of each learning community to link learning regarding neurobiology and trauma to education practice. This is the essence of the action research projects that have been undertaken by sites across Australia since 2009.
The action research project model asks schools to identify a research question of relevance to their community and then construct a process for interrogating that question and reporting the answers that follow.
Examples of research questions that have been explored by our partner schools include:
- what effect does empowering students with knowledge to regulate their emotions have on building resilience and improving learning outcomes?
- Does explicit teaching of the brain and knowledge of calming strategies improve behaviours in students with trauma consistent responses?
- How does exposure to trauma based behaviours impact on staff self-perceived professional quality of life?
- Does the implementation of mindfulness and calming activities after recess and lunch improve student engagement in learning?
- Does the use of positive, consistent language across the school impact relationships?
The responses to these questions demonstrate the many ways that schools and other learning environments can make effective use of a trauma responsive and trauma integrative approach and can provide support and ideas for other sites who are looking for specific and educationally focused courses of action in this area.