Traumatic events do not discriminate based on economic status, race, culture, or age. This is true for the hundreds of thousands of students who walk into classrooms every day having experienced trauma. Our teachers are then challenged to support these students in a time when their ability to learn may be affected by trauma.

The goal of my thesis is to show the need to educate preservice teachers in the University of Central Florida's elementary education teacher preparation program about students experiencing trauma and how to best support these students. By analyzing existing literature and through interviews with professionals working with children experiencing trauma in and out of the classroom, a quick guide containing the definition of childhood trauma, how it affects the lives of students in elementary classrooms, and best practices to support these students will be constructed. Additionally, this thesis will survey UCF elementary education students preexisting knowledge of childhood trauma and their desire to learn more about the subject. This survey was completed by preservice teachers in the University of Central Florida elementary education preparation program

The results of the survey will determine student interest in learning about teaching students who are experiencing trauma, as well as student knowledge of students experiencing trauma. The results from this survey suggest students are interested in learning more on how to support students going through trauma and that their depth of knowledge on the subject can be expanded.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Jennings-Towle, Kelly


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


School of Teacher Education

Degree Program

Elementary Education


Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date