reviewed by Hope Schuermann – June 29, 2020

Title: Teaching Hope and Resilience to Students Experiencing Trauma
Author(s): Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, Rachelle S. Savitz
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN:9780807761472, Pages: 144, Year: 2019

In a time where we are more aware and informed on the impact of trauma on learning, brain development, and relational implications, a book such as Teaching Hope and Resilience for Students Experiencing Trauma, by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Rachelle S. Savitz, is necessary for instructors at all levels. The content of this book can assist us in building more learner-friendly environments in which students can engage in the material, learn important information, and leave our courses without being re-traumatized. In addition, this book is a timely reminder that many students will be returning to classrooms after experiencing the large collective traumas of COVID-19 and racial injustice movements in America. Thus, a foundational understanding of how trauma impacts learning, and how we as educators can meet the needs of our traumatized students, cannot be more apt.

The introduction of this book covers the concept of Adverse Child Experiences (ACEs) and their impact on learning and health over the lifespan. The ACEs scale included is a helpful tool for conceptualization, along with the wise warning that the instrument should not be given without mental health support. In addition, the text not only points out how trauma can negatively impact an individual, but also points to the strengths and resiliency that can be born out of trauma.

Read the full review at Teachers College Record