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Austin Peay education professors release trauma-informed practices book

By: Megan Simpson February 5, 2024

Dr. Benita Bruster and Dr. Cheryl Lambert.
Dr. Benita Bruster and Dr. Cheryl Lambert. | Photo by Sean McCully 

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – A new textbook – edited by Dr. Benita Bruster and Dr. Cheryl Lambert from the Eriksson College of Education at Austin Peay State University – offers research-based strategies to help teachers effectively manage disruptive student behaviors by incorporating trauma-informed practices.

"Classroom Management: Trauma-Informed Practices" provides practical guidance for aspiring and experienced teachers on creating and maintaining supportive learning environments for all students. Released in January by Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, the 134-page textbook explores the impacts of adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress and how these compounded traumas manifest in the classroom.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64% of adults report experiencing an adverse childhood experience before age 18. This data includes children exposed to violence or those who were victims themselves. Other common experiences, such as divorce or natural disasters, can lead to developmental hurdles for school-age children. The resulting student behaviors are often difficult to address with typical modification strategies.  

The text includes chapters authored by Bruster and Lambert, as well as other Eriksson College of Education faculty members and local teachers. These educational experts provide evidence-based techniques to identify signs of trauma and implement appropriate interventions with care and attention.

"Research shows teachers utilizing trauma-informed practices create a more effective learning environment," Bruster said. "This book gives educators research-supported strategies, real-world examples and best practices they can immediately use to improve student academic outcomes. In turn, these strategies make our schools a safer, more enjoyable place for students and teachers.”                                                                                                                            

While many classroom management books focus on managing disruptive behavior, this text is designed to help teachers create positive environments that foster resilience and strong teacher-student relationships. Readers will learn how to develop a caring classroom culture, gain skills to de-escalate confrontations and design targeted supports that meet students' unique needs.

"Equipping teachers with trauma-informed classroom management skills is essential," Lambert said. "This comprehensive guide fills that need. In addition, the case studies and supplemental resources provide a toolkit with practical applications." 

To order an e-book or paperback copy, visit the Kendall Hunt website. For more information about faculty publications in the Eriksson College of Education, contact Communications Director Megan Simpson at simpsonm@apsu.edu or 931-221-7512. 

About the Eriksson College of Education

The Eriksson College of Education prepares dynamic teachers and educational leaders to positively impact communities and schools in the 21st century. The College offers initial and advanced licensure and non-licensure programs. The College’s programs, including the nationally-known Grow Your Own Teacher Residency, are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP). To learn more, visit apsu.edu/education.