Bilbrey, J.B., Castanon, K.L., Copeland, R.B. et al. Primary early childhood educators’ perspectives of trauma-informed knowledge, confidence, and training. Aust. Educ. Res. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-022-00582-9
There is a growing body of research documenting the impact of traumatic stress on child development, which has resulted in a call to action for trauma-informed practices as a priority, yet implementation within schools and training for educators is lacking (American Academy of Physicians, https://www.aap.org/en-us/Documents/ttb_aces_consequences.pdf, 2014). Understanding teachers’ perceptions regarding current levels of knowledge, self-efficacy, and trauma-informed training can help guide future professional development experiences for both pre-service and practising teachers.
This study investigated the knowledge, self-efficacy, and training of trauma-informed practices as self-reported by primary educators, serving in grades kindergarten through third-grade, within two regions of Tennessee and Virginia. The Primary Early Childhood Educators Trauma-Informed Care Survey for Knowledge, Confidence, and Relationship Building (PECE-TICKCR) scale was adapted from the TIC-DS scale (Goodwin-Glick in Impact of trauma-informed care professional development of school personnel perceptions of knowledge, disposition, and behaviours towards traumatised students, Graduate College of Bowling Green State University, 2017), validated, and created for the purpose of this study.
The sample consisted of 218 primary educators who completed an online survey regarding personal knowledge, self-efficacy, and training experiences of trauma-informed practices. Correlations revealed a statistical significance between the Knowledge of Trauma factor and the Confidence in Providing Trauma-Informed Strategies factor. There was also a statistical significance between the Knowledge of Trauma factor and the Confidence in Creating Supportive relationships factor and between the Confidence in Providing Trauma-Informed Strategies factor and the Confidence in Creating Supportive Relationships factor.
The findings indicated that teachers need more knowledge regarding community resources for families and students but feel confident in providing supportive relationships. Teachers also are interested in more training events related to strategies to use when working with students exposed to trauma. Implications for teacher preparation programs and professional development training for practising teachers is discussed.