Student Trauma, the Hidden Curriculum, and Cultural Humility: This Trio Needs a Team Approach

Student Trauma, the Hidden Curriculum, and Cultural Humility: This Trio Needs a Team Approach

Dana C. Branson
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0319-5.ch005
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Student trauma can set up challenges and obstacles to a student's academic success. The correlation between experienced childhood trauma and negative medical and social problems is significant, creating problems at school with academic work, behaviors, and social interactions. Further compounding this issue are cultural differences in traumatic resolution and the hidden curriculum of education, especially as the globalization of school communities increases. The complexity of this issue generates an ideal situation for a multidisciplinary team approach, with precise defining of each team member's role to increase comprehensive services for teachers, students, families, and the administration. Essential members of the multidisciplinary team are school administration, teachers, family members, guidance staff, counseling staff, school social workers, school nurses, and community resources that can coordinate with the school to create individualized plans to optimize student success. The chapter is a compilation of scholarly research through desktop research.
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Research into childhood trauma has consistently found that experienced adversity is correlated with an increased risk of negative outcomes in several life domains, specifically physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual arenas (Asok, Benard, Roth, Rosen, & Dozier, 2013; Belsky, Schlomer, & Ellis, 2012; Danese & McEwen, 2012; Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, 2014; Power, et al., 2013). The importance of family is central to theoretical underpinnings and a starting point of investigation of both positive and negative life outcomes. For example, the family serves many roles, such as basic protection, affection, companionship, social status, means of reproduction, and regulation of sexual behavior, and constructs a world view for members through a complex lens of culture, temperament, personality, environment, and individual experiences (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016). The family unit is the most foundational influence of culture for children, providing them with the lens through which they view the world, make sense of experiences, interpret the meaning of incoming information, and interact with the world through this highly delicate and complex creation of culturally-based norms (Schaefer, 2016). Ideally, the family unit is a buffer that protects children from negative life experiences and a source of whole-person nourishment with the hope of fashioning productive and well-adjusted adults (Belsky et al., 2012; Sperry & Widom, 2013). Unfortunately, a commonality of students struggling with academic performance, behavior in the classroom, and social aspects is the presence of poverty, absence of basic needs, childhood adversity, and dysfunctional families (Allen-Meares & Montgomery, 2014). Research surrounding negative life events and environments correlating to future challenges in adulthood is not new (Herman, 1997); however, its impact on the learning environment and ways to minimize negative effects are growing areas of inquiry and sophistication.

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