Education major examines elementary educators’ awareness of trauma-informed teaching approaches

Lucy Callicott '22 has been named a Provost Scholar for her research in examining elementary educators' awareness and perceptions of trauma-informed teaching approaches.

Under the mentorship of Katie Baker, assistant professor in the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education, Lucy Callicott ’22 is examining the awareness of elementary educators when it comes to trauma-informed teaching approaches.

Callicott’s research is titled, “Examining Elementary Educators’ Awareness and Perceptions of Trauma-Informed Teaching Approaches.” Her research project started with the understanding that trauma and toxic stress affect children’s school experiences, and that trauma-informed education can promote healing in schools.

Lucy Callicott ’22 and Dr. Katie Baker, Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education

Her qualitative study then examined elementary educators’ awareness levels and perceptions of trauma-informed teaching approaches. Data collection occurred in two phases: an open-ended survey of 75 elementary educators about trauma-informed teaching in their contexts and semi-structured interviews to clarify participants’ lived experiences with trauma-informed approaches. While 64 percent noted awareness of trauma-informed approaches, findings revealed that participants’ understanding of trauma-informed support structures ranged drastically. Educators also expressed limited access to trauma-informed support structures among the barriers to implementation. Findings from this project will further the research base by highlighting educators’ voices on the support needed to make trauma-informed implementation equity-minded and sustainable for all involved.

Callicott presented her research at the Spring Undergraduate Research Forum and participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. She will be conducting a national workshop at the Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools Conference in Houston in the spring of 2022. She has also been invited to submit a chapter in Information Age Publishing’s Volume 11 of the series of “Stress & Coping in Education: Implications for the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond.” After graduation, she plans to teach in an elementary setting and implement and advocate for the equity-based, trauma-informed practices she has studied.

Callicott is an Honors Fellow and Provost Scholar majoring in elementary education with minors in International and Global Studies and French. Recently named a Provost Scholar, her research will be on display in the Alamance Building for the next year.