The following are my current thoughts and planned outline for my dissertation. The outline generally follows the dissertation by a fellow student who graduated last year (Montgomery Di Marco, 2020). It has been adapted to match my population and expected dissertation. A separate document is being uploaded that includes a list of all references reviewed during the Fall 2020 semester of Ecology of Ideas.
Thesis Statement: Teachers who serve students with emotional and behavioral disabilities would benefit from being co-researchers and self-developing a learning community to implement a trauma-informed set of services. Following a 12-week participatory action group, they will be taking information learned back to the classrooms, schools, and community to help make a safer environment for their students.
Chapter 1: Introduction
- Statement of the Problem
- There is limited implementation of trauma-informed classroom practices within schools
- Students with emotional and behavioral disabilities are a higher risk for having adverse childhood experiences
- PLCs can follow a participatory action research model and that can be effective model for creating change within a school setting.
- The Research Study
- Teachers who serve students with EBD will be offered the opportunity to participate in a process as co-researchers to uncover the facets of trauma and resilience.
- I expect to solicit teachers from the three school districts that make up the Tri-Cities area of Washington. Each district provides services K-12 for students through specialized self-contained classrooms. A local counseling center regionally supports these districts for some of their students with the most extreme needs.
- Paradigms in research
- Participatory action as a paradigm (Baum et al., 2006).
- Transformation as a paradigm (Donna, 2009).
- Transformation and Participatory Action Research
- Ethics Consideration
- Scope and Delimitations
- Discussion and Implications
- Purpose of the Research
- Discussion on Praxis
- Our Relationship to the Participatory Ontology
- Personal Significance
- Academic Significance
- Social Significance
- Chapters Breakdown
Chapter 2: Discussion of Relevant Literature
- School wide services to address needs and school reform
- Context and position of school reform
- There were three historical phases in the last century that school reform has gone through. These include the excellence movement, the restructuring movement, and No Child Left Behind (DuFour et al., 2008).
- These reform models have failed to deliver due to unrealistic expectations, the complexity of the task, misplaced focus, a lack of perseverance, and a failure to attend to and appreciate the change process. They argue that professional learning communities are a more focused method for creating school reform (DuFour et al., 2008).
- This movement goes alongside fields such as organizational development, leadership practices, school improvement, teacher preparation, professional development effective schools, and change processes all have been additive to professional learning communities as a change creating process (DuFour et al., 2008).
- Professional learning communities (PLC)
- Parts of a Good PLC include looking at structural conditions, supportive relational conditions, shared values and vision, intentional collective learning, peers supporting peers, shared and supportive leadership (Hord, 2015)
- Seminal discussion regarding PLCs and use as a continuous program to address reform in schools (Hord, 1997)
- PLCs focus on ensuring that all students learn, a cultural of collaboration, and focus on results (DuFour, 2004). There are a number of other articles that also describe the structure and connection with what a PLC is (Webster-Wright, 2009; Hord, 2009).
- There has traditionally been less focus on SPED teachers within the PLC system (Blanton & Perez, 2011). SPED teachers have a need to participate in learner-centered professional development.
- Social emotional learning (SEL)
- There are a number of reasons to implement SEL. These include general improvements and increased teacher satisfaction, efficacy, and lower job stress (Collie et al., 2012; Taylor et al., 2017).
- There is a high level of research base (Allbright et al., 2019).
- There are guides to implementation (Elias et al., 1997).
- Multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS) and positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS)
- MTSS and PBIS are connected, where PBIS is consistent with the core principles of MSTT (Benner et al., 2013).
- PBIS is an effective intervention (Horner et al., 2010)
- Implementation of PBIS and SEL can be challenging for teachers (Schonert-Reichl, 2017)
- There is a handbook for implementation of PBIS (Sailor et al., 2008)
- Trauma-informed school systems (TISS)
- There are a number of papers which describe and enumerate best practices for TISS (Dombo & Sabatino, 2019; Berardi et al., 2019; Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Department of Health & Human Services. The United States, 2014; Pickens & Tschopp, 2017; Cavanaugh, 2016)
- There is an understanding of the impact that trauma has on kids (Baker et al., 2015; Gonzalez et al., 2016; Woodbridge et al., 2015).
- TISS can help to mitigate those effects (Porche et al., 2016; Perfect et al., 2016).
- We can help teachers become more invested (Baweja et al., 2015), and find a ways to implement a program (Chafouleas et al., 2015; Dorado et al., 2016; Phifer & Hull, 2016; Perry & Daniels, 2016)
- There is also a local example for my own state (Wolpow et al., 2016).
- Trauma-informed systems are not just inside of schools (Harris & Fallot, 2001; Bloom & Sreedhar, 2008)
- Definition of trauma
- “Individual trauma results from an **event**, series of events, or set of circumstances that is **experienced** by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening and that has lasting adverse **effects** on the individual's functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being” (p. 7) (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, 2012)
- There are a number of terms that can be used to understand trauma. These include toxic stress (Shonkoff et al., 2012; Franke, 2014), chronic stress (Evans & Kim, 2012)
- Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
- Seminal paper around trauma and ACES (Felitti et al., 1998)
- ACEs has made an impact on K-12 educational systems (Burke et al., 2011; Verbitsky-Savitz et al., 2016)
- Impacts of trauma on workers (vicarious/secondary trauma)
- Compassion fatigue is a way of describing secondary trauma and connects to concept of secondary traumatic stress disorder (STSD (Valent, 2013)
- First used in nursing (Joinson, 1992)
- It has been adapted to connect to educators and a model for understanding teacher burnout (Hoffman et al., 2007)
- Special education teachers have their own understanding and connection with compassion fatigue (Andrews & Brown, 2015)
- Population of students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities (EBD)
- There is a specific definition for EBD (Gresham et al., 1999; 2007)
- They have high rate of trauma in comparison with their general education peers (Bethell et al., 2017)
- They experience difficulties related to learning (Trout et al., 2006; Lambros et al., 1998)
- Teachers who work with EBD have special requirements (Prather-Jones, 2010)
- There are shortages of special education teachers (Boe, 2016; Cancio et al., 2013; McLeskey et al., 2016)
- Teachers who work with students with EBD
Chapter 3: Method
- History and definition of PAR
- PAR is a rigorous system for conducting research that includes the accumulation of knowledge and rigor in contextual determinacy (academic plus popular knowledge, cooptation and disciplinary convergence) (Borda, 2008).
- PAR has a rich history in its creation and in the varied types styles of implementation that it includes (Skolimowski, 1994; Shor & Freire, 1987).
- Situation of PAR within the research
- PAR connects with other qualitative methodologies. (Creswell et al., 2007)
- Discussion about sampling practices within PAR (Guetterman, 2015).
- Participants referred to as co-researchers (Alcoff, 1991).
- The use of PAR in a school setting.
- PAR in practice and acts as a partnership for social justice practice in education (Kemmis & Wilkinson, 1998; Marshall et al., 1998)
- PAR connection to transformative research and evaluation model (Mertens, 2009). It can specifically connect to previous research regarding resilience (Donna, 2009).
- PAR has been used as a modality for teacher professional development (Saunders & Somekh, 2013; Altrichter & Posch, 2013).
- PAR can be connected to complexity and an ecological perspective (Sumara & Davis, 2013).
- Attrition can be a challenge of using a PAR (Hughes, 2003)
- PAR includes a high degree of participation, democracy in group decision making is required, defining what is the community, and the need to create a safe space are all important aspects of PAR (Bergold & Thomas, 2012)
- Research Strategy and Method
- The ontology of PAR its a participatory reality or a subjective-objective reality. The co-researchers co-create reality (Lincoln et al., 2011).
- Change in schools practice and vision
- Connection with transformation, complex thinking, and transdisciplinarity
- Participatory research looks at a co-created set of findings between the research facilitator and the co-researchers who are participating in the process (Lincoln et al., 2011).
- "Practical knowing how to flourish with a balance of autonomy, co-operation, and hierarchy." (p. 111) The voices present in the study (Lincoln et al., 2011).
- Action Component of PAR
- The activities planned for this research project are to create changes within each of the teacher’s classrooms, but also to promote change within their schools and possibly make recommendations for broader change.
- Rationale for Choosing PAR
- Connection with PEER-EBD (Tsai et al., 2013; Walker et al., 2013)
- Desire to increase trauma informed status in schools.
- Research Procedures
- Collection and review of agendas, field notes taken, photos of flipcharts
- Participant Selection
- Teachers who work in BESST (Richland), Bridges (Pasco), Tier II (Kennewick), LCC Children' Day Program (regional).
- Potentially include school psychs and other professionals who connect in those classrooms
- Recruitment Criteria
- Teachers who work with special education self-contained classrooms for students with EBD.
- Group Gatherings
- Bi-weekly meeting over six months (e.g. 12 meetings).
- Understand how trauma impacts students
- Limiting retraumatization within the classroom
- Methods for increasing resiliency factors for students
- Engaging in self-care and burnout prevention to reduce the impact of secondary trauma
- Evaluate and implementing ideas for promoting systematic changes within a classroom and school-wide
- Develop a tool or recommendation for how other school staff could create similar growth in other schools
- Activities and agendas
- I will end up providing a description of some (or all of the activities to be completed)
- I will provide an example of an agenda used for
- Action Component
- The action component of this study will be related to the planning to take back information and new way of thinking about trauma-informed classroom to their schools or the greater community.
- Data Gathering and Analysis
- Role of the Researcher
- Delimitations and Limitations
- Identifying and Dealing with Validity Threats
- Protection of Human Co-researchers
- I will be applying for working vulnerable populations approval for this dissertation through the university. This section will enumerate the protections in place and processes followed.
Chapter 4: Research Findings
- Participatory action research and its Impact
- Becoming a Group
- List of various emergent themes
Chapter 5: Moving Forward; Recommendations and Conclusion
- Hoped for outcomes
- Specific outcomes
- List of appendixes
Alcoff, L. (1991). The problem of speaking for others. Cultural Critique, 20), 5. https://doi.org/10.2307/1354221
Allbright, T. N., Marsh, J. A., Kennedy, K. E., Hough, H. J., & McKibben, S. (2019). Social-emotional learning practices: insights from outlier schools. Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, 12(1), 35-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/jrit-02-2019-0020
Altrichter, H., & Posch, P. (2013). Chapter 17 - Action research, professional development and systemic reform. In S. E. Noffke & B. Somekh (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of educational action research (pp. 213-225). SAGE.
Andrews, A., & Brown, J. L. (2015). Discrepancies in the Ideal Perceptions and the Current Experiences of Special Education Teachers. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 3(6), 126-131. https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v3i6.984
Baker, C. N., Brown, S. M., Wilcox, P. D., Overstreet, S., & Arora, P. (2015). Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care (ARTIC) Scale. School Mental Health, 8(1), 61-76. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-015-9161-0
Baum, F., MacDougall, C., & Smith, D. (2006). Participatory action research. J Epidemiol Community Health, 60(10), 854-857. https://doi.org/10.1136/jech.2004.028662
Baweja, S., Santiago, C. D., Vona, P., Pears, G., Langley, A., & Kataoka, S. (2015). Improving Implementation of a School-Based Program for Traumatized Students: Identifying Factors that Promote Teacher Support and Collaboration. School Mental Health, 8(1), 120-131. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-015-9170-z
Benner, G. J., Kutash, K., Nelson, J. R., & Fisher, M. B. (2013). Closing the achievement gap of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders through multi-tiered systems of support. Education and Treatment of Children, 36(3), 15-29. https://doi.org/10.1353/etc.2013.0018
Berardi, A. A., Morton, B. M., & George, F. U. (2019). Trauma-informed school practices: Building expertise to transform schools. George Fox University.
Bergold, J., & Thomas, S. (2012). Participatory research methods: A methodological approach in motion (Partizipative forschungsmethoden: Ein methodischer ansatz in bewegung). Historical Social Research, 4(37), 191-222. https://doi.org/10.12759/HSR.37.2012.4.191-222
Bethell, C. D., Davis, M. B., Gombojav, N., Stumbo, S., & Powers, K. (2017). Issue brief: A national and across state profile on adverse childhood experiences among children and possibilities to heal and thrive. http://www.changeimpact.net/uploads/1/0/2/1/102192352/ti.aces_issue_brief-_oct_2017.pdf
Blanton, L. P., & Perez, Y. (2011). Exploring the relationship between special education teachers and professional learning communities: Implications of research for administrators. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 24(1), 6-16.
Bloom, S. L., & Sreedhar, S. Y. (2008). The Sanctuary Model of Trauma-Informed Organizational Change. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 17(3), 48-53.
Boe, E. E. (2016). Long-term trends in the national demand, supply, and shortage of special education teachers. The Journal of Special Education. https://doi.org/10.1177/00224669060400030201
Borda, O. F. (2008). The application of the social sciences’ contemporary issues to work on participatory action research. Human Organization; Oklahoma City, 67(4), 359-361.
Burke, N. J., Hellman, J. L., Scott, B. G., Weems, C. F., & Carrion, V. G. (2011). The impact of adverse childhood experiences on an urban pediatric population. Child Abuse & Neglect, 35(6), 408-413. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2011.02.006
Cancio, E. J., Albrecht, S. F., & Johns, B. H. (2013). Combating the attrition of teachers of students With EBD: What can administrators do. Intervention in School and Clinic. https://doi.org/10.1177/1053451213513953
Cavanaugh, B. (2016). Trauma-informed classrooms and schools. Beyond Behavior, 25(2), 41-46. https://doi.org/10.1177/107429561602500206
Chafouleas, S. M., Johnson, A. H., Overstreet, S., & Santos, N. M. (2015). Toward a Blueprint for Trauma-Informed Service Delivery in Schools. School Mental Health, 8(1), 144-162. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-015-9166-8
Child with a disability or student eligible for special education, 392-172A WAC § 01035 (2007).
Collie, R. J., Shapka, J. D., & Perry, N. E. (2012). School climate and social–emotional learning: Predicting teacher stress, job satisfaction, and teaching efficacy. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(4), 1189-1204. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029356
Creswell, J. W., Hanson, W. E., Clark Plano, V. L., & Morales, A. (2007). Qualitative research designs: Selection and implementation. The Counseling Psychologist, 35(2), 236-264. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000006287390
Dombo, E. A., & Sabatino, C. A. (2019). Creating trauma-informed schools: A guide for school social workers and educators. Oxford University Press.
Donna, M. M. (2009). Chapter 1 - Resilience, resistance, and complexities that challenge. In Transformative research and evaluation (pp. 9-42). The Guilford Press. https://ciis.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=262493&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Dorado, J. S., Martinez, M., McArthur, L. E., & Leibovitz, T. (2016). Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools (HEARTS): A Whole-School, Multi-level, Prevention and Intervention Program for Creating Trauma-Informed, Safe and Supportive Schools. School Mental Health, 8(1), 163-176. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-016-9177-0
DuFour, R. (2004). What is a professional learning community? Educational Leadership, 61(8), 6-11. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may04/vol61/num08/What-Is-a-Professional-Learning-Community¢.aspx
DuFour, R., DuFour, R. B., & Eaker, R. E. (2008). Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work. Solution Tree.
Elias, M. J., Zins, J. E., Weissberg, R. P., Frey, K. S., Greenberg, M. T., Haynes, N. M., Kessler, R., Schwab-Stone, M. E., & Shriver, T. P. (1997). Promoting Social and Emotional Learning. ASCD.
Evans, G. W., & Kim, P. (2012). Childhood poverty, chronic stress, self‐regulation, and coping. Child Development Prospectives, 7(1), 43-48. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdep.12013
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Gresham, F. M., Lane, K. L., Macmillan, D. L., & Bocian, K. M. (1999). Social and academic profiles of externalizing and internalizing groups: Risk factors for emotional and behavioral disorders. Behavioral Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1177/019874299902400303
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Harris, M., & Fallot, R. D. (2001). Envisioning a trauma-informed service system: A vital paradigm shift. New Directions for Mental Health Services, 89, 3-22. https://doi.org/10.1002/yd.23320018903
Hoffman, S., Palladino, J. M., & Barnett, J. (2007). Compassion fatigue as a theoretical framework to help understand burnout among special education teachers. Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research, 2(1), 15-22.
Hord, S. (2015). What is an authentic professional learning community? The Learning Forward Journal, 36(3), 38-39.
Hord, S. M. (2009). Professional learning communities: Educators work together toward a shared purpose - improved student learning. Journal of Staff Development
Hord, S. M. (1997). Professional learning communities: Communities of continuous inquiry and improvement., 72. https://sedl.org/pubs/catalog/items/cha34.html
Horner, R. H., Sugai, G., & Anderson, C. M. (2010). Examining the evidence base for school-wide positive behavior support. Focus on Exception, 42(8). https://doi.org/10.17161/foec.v42i8.6906
Hughes, J. N. (2003). Commentary: Participatory action research leads to sustainable school and community improvement. School Psychology Review, 32(1), 38-43. https://doi.org/10.1080/02796015.2003.12086179
Joinson, C. (1992). Coping with compassion fatigue. Nursing, 22(4), 116-118.
Kemmis, S., & Wilkinson, M. (1998). Chapter 2 - Participatory action research and the study of practice. In W. F. Atweh, S. Kemmis, & P. Weeks (Eds.), Action research in practice: partnership for social justice in education (pp. 48-63). Routledge. http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/qut/detail.action?docID=169656
Lambros, K. M., Ward, S. L., Bocian, K. M., MacMillan, D. L., & Gresham, F. M. (1998). Behavioral Profiles of Children At-Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: Implications for Assessment and Classification. Exceptional, 30(5). https://doi.org/10.17161/fec.v30i5.7548
Lincoln, Y. S., Lynham, S. A., & Guba, E. G. (2011). Chapter 6 - Paradigmatic controversies, contradictions, and emerging confluences, revisited. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (pp. 97-128). Sage.
Marshall, R., Cobb, A., & Ling, C. (1998). Chapter 9 - Change in schools practice and vision. In W. F. Atweh, S. Kemmis, & P. Weeks (Eds.), Action research in practice: partnership for social justice in education (pp. 190-215). Routledge.
McLeskey, J., Tyler, N. C., & Flippin, S. S. (2016). The supply of and demand for special education teachers: A review of research regarding the chronic shortage of special education teachers. The Journal of Special Education. https://doi.org/10.1177/00224669040380010201
Mertens, D. M. (2009). Chapter 5 - A transformative research and evaluation model. In Transformative research and evaluation (pp. 136-163). The Guilford Press.
Montgomery Di Marco, A. (2020). How a group of refugee-immigrant women living in the diaspora in Metro-Vancouver define flourishing and experience participatory-hospitality: A feminist participatory action research project California Institute of Integral Studies.
Perfect, M. M., Turley, M. R., Carlson, J. S., Yohanna, J., & Saint Gilles, M. P. (2016). School-related outcomes of traumatic event exposure and traumatic stress symptoms in students: A systematic review of research from 1990 to 2015. School Mental Health, 8(1), 7-43. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-016-9175-2
Perry, D. L., & Daniels, M. L. (2016). Implementing Trauma—Informed Practices in the School Setting: A Pilot Study. School Mental Health, 8(1), 177-188. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-016-9182-3
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Pickens, I. B., & Tschopp, N. (2017). Trauma-informed classrooms., 32. https://www.ncjfcj.org/publications/trauma-informed-classrooms
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Saunders, L., & Somekh, B. (2013). Chapter 15 - Action research and educational change: Teachers as innovators. In S. E. Noffke & B. Somekh (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of educational action research (pp. 190-201). SAGE.
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Sumara, D., & Davis, B. (2013). Chapter 29 - Complexity theory and action research. In S. E. Noffke & B. Somekh (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of educational action research (pp. 358-369). SAGE.
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Trout, A. L., Epstein, M. H., Nelson, R., Synhorst, L., & Duppong Hurley, K. (2006). Profiles of children served in early intervention programs for behavioral disorders. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 26(4), 206-218. https://doi.org/10.1177/02711214060260040201
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Verbitsky-Savitz, N., Hargreaves, M. B., Penoyer, S., Morales, N., Coffee-Borden, B., & Whitesell, E. (2016). Preventing and Mitigating the Effects of ACEs by Building Community Capacity and Resilience: APPI Cross-Site Evaluation Findings., 134. https://www.mathematica.org/our-publications-and-findings/publications/final-report-preventing-and-mitigating-the-effects-of-aces-by-building-community-capacity
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The following essay was originally posted as an outline for TSD 6526 - Ecology of Ideas as a part of my Ph.D. Studies in Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies.