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Adverse Childhood Experiences, The Brain, and Strategies for Teachers

Ballou, Erica M
Abstract
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Adverse childhood experiences impact the brain and interfere with a student’s ability to learn in the classroom. This literature review was driven by questions about how ACEs affect the brain and a student’s ability to learn, and how teachers can support students in their classrooms. Human motivation, ecological systems, and resiliency theories acted as a combined lens to examine the literature about student needs and behaviors and the teacher’s position to support students in classroom settings. The literature explored four areas of the brain that are directly affected by the stress response brought on by ACEs and how they are detrimental to a student’s ability to behave appropriately and participate in learning activities. While ACEs increase negative outcomes for students’ learning, the literature also showed that there are a variety of strategies teachers can employ to support their students and increase positive outcomes. Three categories of trauma-informed strategies presented in this literature review are: (a) positive interactions and environment; (b) consistency, structure, and routine; and (c) voice, choice, and control.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries
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Keywords
Trauma , Adverse Childhood Experience , Teaching Strategies , Trauma-informed teaching , ACEs and the brain
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