Poster: Perceptions of Trauma and Instructional Design in Asynchronous Online Teacher Professional Development
Abstract: Although many students in our schools have experienced trauma, efforts to make educators trauma-informed are not well established or thoroughly researched. Whereas educators are becoming more informed about trauma, little to no professional development is directed at implications for instructional design, especially for literacy instruction. Trauma can impact brain development and may negatively impact literacy achievement. Knowing this often leads to teachers developing deficit lenses. More research on trauma-informed literacy instruction is needed. We address the following research questions: What does teachers' language reveal about their perceptions of working with trauma-affected youth? How do perceptions about trauma-affected youth impact literacy instructional design? This study is part of a larger two-year formative experiment in which K-12 teachers participated in online, asynchronous and interactive PD to help them improve their literacy instruction. The present study examined the responses to challenges and surveys of teachers who participated in a trauma-informed literacy instruction course. Data analysis is in process. To date, our data suggests that teachers' deficit and agentic language revealed perceptions about trauma-affected youth. Instructional design characteristics included: a) trauma-informed: authentic, flexible, student-centered and/or b) not trauma-informed: rigid, teacher-centered, poorly structured.