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Issues in Educational Research, 2020, Vol 30(1), 245-259.
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'One size does not fit all': Engaging students who have experienced trauma

Rachel Parker
Department of Education, Western Australia

David Hodgson
Curtin University, Australia

Responding to the social, relational and emotional needs of school students is now squarely within the purview of schools, teachers and school support staff. The everyday work of teachers may involve grappling with student disengagement, especially in regards to students who have experienced past trauma. It is a problem that presents ongoing challenges for educators and school policy-makers seeking to work out how to respond to student disengagement through social and emotional learning. This research aims to identify the skills and knowledge that are foundational to supporting and engaging students at educational risk in social and emotional learning. Using a phenomenographic research methodology, interviews were conducted with experienced teachers who specialise in the areas of engagement, behaviour and social-emotional learning. This research identified nine domains of engagement, and presents these as a conceptual framework that can guide where and how staff in schools can intervene with modifications that will positively impact students' lives. The paper outlines a framework to help teachers and other school staff to plan and implement a responsive and dynamic approach to social and emotional learning, which can support improved immediate, short-term and long-term, health and well-being outcomes for students.
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Authors: Rachel Parker (corresponding author) has been employed by WA Department of Education for 18 years. She is part of a multi-disciplinary team specialising in reducing problematic behaviour and increasing engagement in public schools. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Social Work with First Class Honours from Edith Cowan University and is currently a PhD candidate at The University of Western Australia.
Email: rachel.parker@education.wa.edu.au

Dr David Hodgson is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Curtin University and has conducted research in the areas of education policy, social work education and family and domestic violence policy. He has recently co-authored two books: Key concepts and theory in social work (2017, Palgrave) and Social justice theory and practice for social work: Critical and philosophical perspectives (2019, Springer).
Email: david.hodgson1@curtin.edu.au
Web: https://research.curtin.edu.au/supervisor/dr-david-hodgson/

Please cite as: Parker, R. & Hodgson, D. (2020). 'One size does not fit all': Engaging students who have experienced trauma. Issues in Educational Research, 30(1), 245-259. http://www.iier.org.au/iier30/parker.pdf

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Created 8 Feb 2020. Last correction: 8 Feb 2020.
Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]