Trauma-Informed Classrooms after Natural Disasters: A Literature Review



Abstract: With the continuing COVID-19 pandemic combined with natural disasters due to climate change, teachers’ ability to identify and address trauma is increasingly important to maximize academic and socioemotional outcomes. Trauma-informed classroom interventions in response to natural disasters are relatively unexamined. The objective of this literature review is to examine the following research questions is examined: 1) What trauma-informed-classroom strategies have been implemented secondary to a natural disaster? and 2) Over time, how has the use of curriculum modification to mitigate student trauma symptoms evolved? This narrative review examined peer-reviewed articles published since 2000 that examined trauma-informed classroom strategies with P-12 students following a natural disaster. Research indicated that trauma-informed classroom strategies fall in one of two categories: curriculum and instructional modifications and teacher-led interventions. The implementation of all strategies indicates improved psychosocial functioning in students. Research indicates that the perspective of teacher-led trauma-informed strategies have evolved in from a questionable practice in the early 2000s to a necessity in the time of COVID-19.

Author Biography

Alexandra Pajak, Tulane University

Author and Affiliation
Ms. Alexandra Pajak
Graduate Student
Tulane University