Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Learning, Leadership and Change

First Advisor

Fred Estes

First Committee Member

Delores McNair

Second Committee Member

Indria Gillespie


This qualitative action research concentrates on examining the best practices for teachers in trauma-informed practices by producing an implementation guide to train the trainer. The theoretical framework utilized to help inform the development of this research was Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory (1989) in relation to human development for identifying the emerging best practices with being trauma informed. The scope of this research focuses on low-socioeconomic status (SES) urban youth, so cultural sensitivity is naturally always a component of a complete train-the-trainer, trauma-informed teaching program. I identified the emerging best practices in two ways: (a) by gathering and summarizing supporting sources of literature and (b) by holding collaborative conversations with acknowledged experts in culturally competent trauma-informed training. The findings revealed six components essential to prepare the trainer on trauma-informed education training. First, culturally responsive pedagogy and culturally responsive teaching were identified to aid in bridging the gap in providing support. Social capital based upon lived experiences of students was recognized by acknowledging their needs through appropriate modeling of positive attitudes and behavior while increasing confidence in student learning using inclusive resources demonstrated throughout academic content. Next, the key principles of brain science were acknowledged showing a relationship between impact of trauma and learning affects such as: processing, decoding, self-regulation, and impulse control. Then, mental health was addressed to show there is an impact of negative interactions and disciplinary actions, according to Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory. Attitude and language were acknowledged as both verbal and non-verbal and having an impact on instructional behavior, which influences student climate in learning and behavior. Lastly, the equity and accountability components were identified to require teachers to move away from implicit bias issues by creating more cultural-normative behavior through designing more restorative practices while building partnerships with students and families alike.

The result of this action research provided a set of emerging best practices embedded in the implementation guide to support the trainer in training educators on how to teach trauma-impacted youth in California’s culturally diverse public-school classrooms.



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