Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Delores McNair, Ed.D.

First Committee Member

Laura Hallberg, Ed.D.

Second Committee Member

Nancy Huante-Tzintzun, Ph.D.


Trauma exposure is endemic, and this study seeks to address childhood trauma in a compassionate and restorative manner. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are serious childhood traumas that manifest as toxic stress which can damage the developing brain of a child and affect overall health. The implications are expressed dualistically: academic performance of youth is subdued & diminished, and behavioral interactions can range from unreceptive to erratic and aggressive. Trauma exposure is a predictor of adverse outcomes, which range from higher rates of suspension, expulsion, and incarceration, to dire outcomes, such as lower life expectancy and quality of life. Streamlining trauma-informed curriculum and restorative behavioral responses will ensure that resilient and nurturing classrooms mediate and heal our nation’s youth. Instead of disproven and punitive, zero-tolerance consequences, schools must familiarize themselves with the effects of trauma, anticipate traumatic reactions, and respond accordingly. This study reveals how trauma-informed care informs trauma-informed curriculum and trauma-sensitive schools. A consistent and effective response to childhood trauma exposure is the missing link in our nation’s educational system.





Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).