The Effects of Stress, Trauma & Violence on Student Learning
Instructor Name: Dr. Pamela Bernards, Ed.D.
Facilitator Name: Joan S. Halverstadt
Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday
Address: Virtual Education Software
16201 E Indiana Ave, Suite 1450
Spokane, WA 99216
Technical Support: email@example.com
Welcome to Traumatized Child: The Effects of Stress, Trauma & Violence on Student Learning, an interactive, computer-based instruction course designed to help you identify and effectively teach students affected by stress, trauma, and/or violence. This course teaches you to recognize the signs of stress, trauma, or violence in students. It also discusses the specific factors that tend to be present in families and communities where stress and violence are common, as well as the long-term effects on children. A major emphasis of this course is on helping the participant understand the special learning needs of the student who is experiencing stress, trauma, or violence in his/her life and how to meet his/her needs in the regular classroom. Working with parents and community agencies is also emphasized.
This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer. Technical support information can be found in the Help section of your course.
Course Materials (Online)
Title: Traumatized Child: The Effects of Stress, Trauma & Violence on Student Learning
Instructor: Dr. Pamela Bernards, Ed.D.
Facilitator: Joan S. Halverstadt, M.Ed., School Counselor
Publisher: Virtual Education Software, inc. 2004, Revised 2010, Revised 2013, Revised 2016, Revised 2019
Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the student’s own work or appropriately attributed, in part or in whole, to its correct source. Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are one’s own work is unacceptable.
Aiding Honesty in Others
The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.
Violations of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.
This course is designed to be an informational course with application to educational settings. The intervention strategies are designed to be used for the remediation of students experiencing stress, trauma, or exposure to violence, ranging in age from approximately three to eighteen years. Some alterations may be needed if working with specific populations such as gifted, ESL or special education.
At the conclusion of this course students will:
1) Understand the educator’s role in supporting and accommodating students who have special learning needs arising from exposure to stress, trauma, or violence in their lives
2) Understand the educator’s role in protecting and supporting vulnerable students
3) Recognize the symptoms of stress, trauma, and violence
4) Understand how stress, trauma, or violence affects brain development and learning
5) Understand the causes of stress, trauma, and violence in families and society
6) Understand the special learning needs these students bring to the classroom
7) Gain techniques for supporting students and families affected by stress, trauma, or violence
8) Learn intervention techniques applicable to the classroom setting
9) Gain a wider knowledge of available outside resources and support systems
10) Understand the educator’s role in the intervention and prevention of violence
11) Be able to research, list, and discuss state and/or district reporting mandates and the requirements and limitations on determining suspected child abuse.
12) Know how to explore violence prevention resources and curricula
This course is designed to help classroom teachers, school counselors and other educational personnel gain strategies to reach and teach students who have been affected by stress, trauma and/or violence. Participants will learn the signs and symptoms of stress and trauma. Participants will explore how stress, violence and trauma affect a student’s learning, cognitive brain development and social-emotional development. The short- and long-term consequences of being exposed to stress, trauma or violence, as well as the social and family causes, will be reviewed. Participants will learn the dynamics of domestic violence and community violence. The educator’s role in the intervention and prevention of violence will be discussed.
The course is divided into four chapters. Each chapter discusses a particular topic of stress, trauma or violence. There will be numerous “checkpoint” questions inserted throughout the reading, which are designed to help students review the content and apply it to their own educational setting. The chapters are sequential and should be completed in the order in which they are presented. At the completion of each chapter, there will be an examination covering the material. Students must complete the examination before proceeding to the next chapter. In some of the chapter examinations, questions will involve case studies to provide further practice in the application of knowledge. This sequential approach to learning will help all participants gain a better understanding of what they have learned as they proceed through the course. This course is appropriate for educators seeking training in working with toddlers through adolescents, as well as those who work directly with families.
Although this course is not a comprehensive presentation of the educational issues surrounding stress, trauma and violence, it certainly includes a wealth of research covering many topics which are not covered in the scope of this course. The instructor highly recommends that you augment your readings from this course with further research to gain a fuller understanding of the complexities of this subject. However, the material presented in this course will give you a broader understanding of the topics of stress, violence and trauma. It will also give you information to apply directly to your work with students in the classroom and community.
As a student you will be expected to:
· Complete all four information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.
· Complete all four section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented. You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, and successfully complete ALL writing assignments to pass this course. *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.
· Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.
· Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.
· Complete all course journal article and essay writing assignments with the minimum word count shown for each writing assignment.
· Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.
Chapter 2 - The Effects of Trauma on Student Learning
This chapter will discuss the effects of trauma on student learning. The way in which childhood trauma affects the brain development of young children will be a special focus. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in children will be discussed, as will strategies educators can use in the classroom to accommodate students who have special learning needs due to exposure to trauma.
The focus of this chapter will be the dynamics of family violence, especially domestic violence, in terms of its causes and repercussions. The ways in which children react to family violence and how exposure to family violence influences a child’s overall development are discussed.
Chapter 4 – The School’s Response to Violence in the Community
This chapter discusses bullying and the physical and emotional violence that can occur in the school setting, as well as in the school, community, and media. In addition, a discussion of strategies for how educators can include violence prevention curricula in their program and plans for dealing with school violence is included.
At the end of each course chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score. After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access. The average from your exam scores will be printed on your certificate. However, this is not your final grade since your required writing assignments have not been reviewed. Exceptionally written or poorly written required writing assignments, or violation of the academic integrity policy in the course syllabus, will affect your grade. As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.
All assignments are reviewed and may impact your final grade. Exceptionally or poorly written assignments, or violation of the Academic Integrity Policy (see course syllabus for policy), will affect your grade. Fifty percent of your grade is determined by your writing assignments, and your overall exam score determines the other fifty percent. Refer to the Essay Grading Guidelines which were sent as an attachment with your original course link. You should also refer to the Course Syllabus Addendum which was sent as an attachment with your original course link, to determine if you have any writing assignments in addition to the Critical Thinking Questions (CTQ) and Journal Article Summations (JAS). If you do, the Essay Grading Guidelines will also apply.
Your writing assignments must meet the minimum word count and are not to include the question or your final citations as part of your word count. In other words, the question and citations are not to be used as a means to meet the minimum word count.
Critical Thinking Questions
There are four CTQs that you are required to complete. You will need to write a minimum of 500 words (maximum 1,000) per essay. You should explain how the information that you gained from the course will be applied and clearly convey a strong understanding of the course content as it relates to each CTQ. To view the questions, click on REQUIRED ESSAY and choose the CTQ that you are ready to complete; this will bring up a screen where you may enter your essay. Prior to course submission, you may go back at any point to edit your essay, but you must be certain to click SAVE once you are done with your edits.
You must click SAVE before you write another essay or move on to another part of the course.
Journal Article Summations
You are required to write, in your own words, a summary on a total of three peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles (one article per JAS), written by an author with a Ph.D., Ed.D. or similar, on the topic outlined within each JAS section in the “Required Essays” portion of the course (blogs, abstracts, news articles or similar are not acceptable). Your article choice must relate specifically to the discussion topic listed in each individual JAS. You will choose a total of three relevant articles (one article per JAS) and write a thorough summary of the information presented in each article (you must write a minimum of 200 words with a 400 word maximum per JAS). Be sure to provide the URL or the journal name, volume, date, and any other critical information to allow the facilitator to access and review each article.
To write your summary, click on REQUIRED ESSAYS and choose the JAS that you would like to complete. A writing program will automatically launch where you can write your summary. When you are ready to stop, click SAVE. Prior to course submission you may go back at any point to edit your summaries but you must be certain to click SAVE once you are done with your edits. For more information on the features of this assignment, please consult the HELP menu.
You must click SAVE before you write another summary or move on to another part of the course.
Joan Halverstadt is a retired Special Services Director, School Psychologist, and School Counselor. She has 15 years’ experience as a school counselor, working with at-risk preschool and elementary-aged students. Ms. Halverstadt has over 45 years of experience working in early childhood education with children and families, including working with children affected by family issues, abuse, or trauma. She also teaches graduate-level education counseling, early childhood, and special education courses for teachers and counselors. She received her National Certification and School Psychology Educational Specialist degree from Seattle University, her School Counseling Educational Staff Associate Degree from City University, her Master’s in Education from George Mason University, and her BA in Psychology and Elementary Education from Whitman College. Please contact Professor Halverstadt if you have course content or examination questions.
Pamela Bernards has 30 years of combined experience in diverse PK-8 and high school settings as a teacher and an administrator. In addition to these responsibilities, she was the founding director of a K-8 after school care program and founder of a pre-school program for infants to 4-year-olds to address all early childhood issues. When she was a principal, her school was named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. More recently, the school in which she serves as curriculum coordinator was named a 2010 Blue Ribbon School. Areas of interest include curriculum, research-based teaching practices, staff development, assessment, data-driven instruction, and instructional intervention with exceptional populations. She received a doctorate in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University.
Please contact Professor Halverstadt if you have course content or examination questions.
You may contact the facilitator by emailing Professor Halverstadt at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling her at 509-891-7219, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST. Phone messages will be answered within 24 hours. Phone conferences will be limited to ten minutes per student, per day, given that this is a self-paced instructional program. Please do not contact the instructor about technical problems, course glitches or other issues that involve the operation of the course.
If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at www.virtualeduc.com and also the Help section of your course.
If you need personal assistance then email email@example.com or call (509) 891-7219. When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call.
Minimum Computer Requirements
Please refer to VESi’s website: www.virtualeduc.com or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.
Refer to the addendum regarding Grading Criteria, Course Completion Information, Items to be Submitted and how to submit your completed information. The addendum will also note any additional course assignments that you may be required to complete that are not listed in this syllabus.
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Crisis Prevention Institute, Inc. (n.d.). Trauma-Informed care resources guide. Retrieved from https://www.crisisprevention.com/CPI/media/Media/download/PDF_TICRG.pdf (must provide info)
Crisis and Trauma Resources Institute Inc. (2018). Crisis response checklist. Retrieved from https://us.ctrinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Crisis-Response-Checklist2.pdf
Cummings, K., Addante, S., Swindell, J., & Meadan, H. (2017). Creative supportive environments for children who have had exposure to traumatic events. Child Family Studies, 26, 2728–2741.
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Focus Adolescent Series. (2017). Teaching children not to be—or be victims of—bullies. Retrieved from http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/assertive.htm
Gaskill, R. L., & Perry, B. D. (2012). Child sexual abuse, traumatic experiences and their effect on the developing brain. In P. Goodyear-Brown (Ed.), Handbook of child sexual abuse: Identification, assessment and treatment (pp. 22–49). New York, NY: Wiley.
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Metzler, M., Merrick, M. T., Klevens, J., Ports, K. A., & Ford, D. C. (2017). Adverse childhood experiences and life opportunities: Shifting the narrative. Children and Youth Services Review, 72, 141–149.
Moore, K. A., & Ramirez, A. N. (2016). Adverse childhood experiences and adolescent well-being: Do protective factors matter? Child Indicators Research, 9(2), 299–316.
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National Centers for Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention. (2018). CDC. www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/ace/
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: Division of Violence Prevention. (2017). Preventing bullying. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/bullying-factsheet508.pdf
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Additional Publishers and Social Skills Curriculum Programs
Bureau for At-Risk Youth
Variety of drug prevention, bullying and violence prevention, social skills, character ed., conflict resolution, etc. resources
The Guidance Group 1-800-99-YOUTH www.at-risk.com
Character Counts (K–8) (character education)
Committee for Children
Second Step (PreK–K, Grades 1–3, Grades 4–6, & Grades
(conflict resolution, problem solving, feelings, & impulse control)
Talking About Touching (personal safety)
Toll Free: 1-800-634-4449
Community Intervention Inc.: Tools To Help Youth
Working It Out At Madison High (13 videos for HS violence prevention)
In Search of Character (6th–12th)
Discovery Education (digital textbooks)
Get Real About Violence (K–1st, 2–4, & 6–8) (violence prevention) 1-800-323-9084
Educational Media Corp
Prevent Violence With Groark (5 violence prev. videos- 1st-3rd)
Ready To Use Social Skills & Activities (PK–K, 1–3,4–6,7–12)
The Power of Choice (12 videos for teens)
In Search of Character (10 videos for Jr. High & High School)
You Can Choose (10 videos for K–5)
Big Changes, Big Choices (12 videos for 5th–9th)
James Stanfield Pub. Corp. (specialists in special ed)
Be Cool (K–12) 6 levels
Sopris West/Cambium Learning
Assist Program (Grades 1–3 & 4–6) (friendship skills, anger, etc.)
Stop and Think Social Skills Program (PK–8)
Tough Choices & Right Choices (5-12)
Bully Proofing series (PK–12)
RIDE (Responding to Individual Differences in Education (PK–8)
a program of the Southern Poverty Law Center; provides grants of up to $2,000 to purchase violence prevention curriculum
Young Peoples Press
Toll Free: 1-800-231-9774
Resources for Parenting Classes
How to Listen So Kids Will Talk & Talk So Kids Will Listen
By Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
Simon & Schuster Pub.
Love & Logic
Toll Free: 1-800-338-4065
Active Parenting Publishers
Toll Free: 1-800-825-0060
Parenting Difficult Adolescents or Guidance Club for Parents of Teens
Bureau for At Risk Youth
Toll Free: 1-800-99-YOUTH
Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP)
Toll Free: 1-800-720-1286
Resources on Domestic Violence
Center for the Study of Prevention of Violence
National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence (includes section on stalking)
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
“The Problem” and “Getting Help”
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
National Network to End Domestic Violence
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
Course content is updated every three years. Due to this update timeline, some URL links may no longer be active or may have changed. Please type the title of the organization into the command line of any Internet browser search window and you will be able to find whether the URL link is still active or any new link to the corresponding organization's web home page.