Online Microcredential in Teaching

Trauma-Aware Education: Teaching Students Who Have Suffered Complex Trauma

Produce an action plan to use trauma-informed practices to support your students, colleagues, school or workplace.

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Queensland University of TechnologyQueensland University of Technology

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Effectively support your students to cope with and overcome trauma

When you successfully complete this Microcredential you will have reflected on the importance of trauma-aware education and produced an action plan to support children and young people using trauma-informed practices in a school setting or workplace.

Children and young people who have lived through very difficult or traumatic life circumstances may present with challenging behaviours and need help to feel safe, to self-regulate emotions and to manage their relationships. You will plan how to support a child or adolescent in this situation, how to support the learning of others in your workplace and how to enhance your personal and professional wellbeing whilst working with trauma-impacted young learners.

How prevalent is trauma among students and young people?

In most schools and early childhood education services there are children and young people who have experienced trauma. In fact International studies estimate that 62–68% of young people will have been exposed to at least 1 traumatic event by the age of 17 (Copeland et al. 2007; McLaughlin et al. 2013) 1.

Trauma is not limited to discrete events and is often complex in nature. Repeated relational harm that comes from experiences such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse, significant neglect, and family violence, can have a serious impact on the education and lives of children.

As an educator or someone whose work involves the support of children and young people who attend education settings, you have the potential to profoundly enhance the education and future lives of young people through adopting trauma-aware practice.

Harm Minimisation Approaches

Complex trauma affects the physical, emotional and social development of children. In order to minimise harm, teachers and school leaders need to respond appropriately using trauma-informed practices and policies.

In this microcredential, you’ll get an in-depth introduction to what complex trauma is and how it affects young people’s development. You’ll understand the neuroscience behind the behaviours presented by students who have experienced complex trauma. You’ll learn how to apply trauma-aware strategies and policies that will minimise the risk to students and school staff.

Learn with a world leading academic faculty and teaching team

QUT’s Education Faculty is ranked among the Top 100 in the world and is consistently producing world-class, innovative research that advances knowledge in education, generates real-world impact and achieves excellence in research.

Your Lead Educator Dr Judith Howard is a QUT Associate Professor and behaviour specialist, with a career aim to assist schools in adopting neuroscience-informed approaches for supporting students experiencing complex trauma.

Earn valid and relevant professional development

For Australian educators, this microcredential aligns with the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST):

1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 6, 6.1, 6.2

This microcredential also meets the standards set by the Common Microcredential Framework.

Unsure if this microcredential is right for you? Why not take our free short course first to get a taste?

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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second It’s not unusual for schools and early childhood services to have to deal with complex, challenging, and persistent behaviours from some children and adolescents. This type of behaviour can affect the classroom experience for many young learners, as well as the personal and professional well-being of teachers, school leaders, and other educators. Here in Australia, at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, groundbreaking work is being done to address these concerns for when these behaviours are the result of complex childhood trauma.

Skip to 0 minutes and 33 seconds My focus area for many years has been trauma-aware education, and that’s helping schools and early childhood services understand the impact of complex trauma on developing bodies and brains and how this impact can influence the education experience for kids who’ve lived through complex trauma. Judith believes every educator in every school needs access to trauma-aware knowledge and skill development in order to effectively address the concerns experienced by trauma-impacted young learners. We know that there are about one in every 33 kids who are under the age of 18 have experienced this type of harm. I’ve spoken to many educators all over the world, and they’ve let me know that, in many countries, the prevalence is actually much higher.

Skip to 1 minute and 17 seconds So this is a growing concern, and it’s a concern that has global interest at the moment. Teachers will tell you this. There are children sitting in their classrooms who they know there’s something wrong, but they’re not necessarily connected to child protection. Trauma-aware education is a rapidly growing early intervention process that is having positive social impact and is changing the futures for some of our most vulnerable and victimised young learners. It is a shift away from some of our more traditional ways of managing behaviour that often just don’t work and end up with kids being kicked out of school or becoming disengaged from school.

Skip to 1 minute and 52 seconds It is a shift towards methods that are grounded in neuroscience that are far more likely to be successful. Just knowing about this stuff, just being able to work in a trauma-aware way is such a great investment. People often say to me they wish that they’d go to that University because it would have been very different for them and for a lot of the kids they taught. QUT offer online postgraduate pathways in trauma-aware education, which has become a more viable study option for educators who require flexible, at-their-own-pace professional development. Want to make a bigger difference in the classroom? Contact QUT for your professional development, and take your teaching to the next level.

What skills will you learn?

  • Trauma Action Plans
  • Whole-School Approach
  • Signs of Trauma
  • Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Teaching Resilience
  • Approaching Challenging Behaviours
  • Managing Tough Conversations
  • Intergenerational Trauma
  • Trauma Aware Policies
  • Supporting Staff Wellbeing
  • Student Wellbeing

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

  • Understand physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students
  • Understand how students learn
  • Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities
  • Use and apply effective classroom communication strategies
  • Support student participation
  • Manage challenging behaviour
  • Maintain student safety
  • Discuss and understand the neuroscience behind complex-trauma influenced behaviour
  • Apply trauma-informed strategies and policies to minimise the risk to students and staff at your school

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

There are no formal prerequisites for this microcredential, however learners with previous undergraduate qualifications in Education or a similar field will be best placed for success. All assessments and content are in English, as such an IELTS score above 6 in all bands is recommended.

For entry to the pathway Graduate Certificate, applicants will need to meet the requirements, which can be found here

Is this microcredential right for you?

This online microcredential is designed for teaching staff and educational leaders who want to improve their professional practice and understand the impact of trauma and how to develop practices for students who have experienced it. It is also for health and social care workers with an interest in teaching or working with children and adolescents affected by trauma.

For Australian educators, this module aligns with the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST):

1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 6, 6.1, 6.2


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You will have access to our online welcome area where you’ll be able to start conversations with fellow learners and read any announcements or additional information relating to your microcredential including assessment details.

  • Course

    From 3 Oct 2022

    Trauma-Aware Education

    Teaching students who have suffered Complex Trauma

    10 weeks

    8 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Why do we need Trauma-Aware Education?
      • Getting started
      • Why do we need Trauma-Aware Education?
      • Why this? Why now?
      • What are the costs of unresolved complex trauma?
      • Wrap Up
    • Week 2

      How does trauma impact on attachment and development?
      • Getting started
      • What have we learned from Attachment Theory?
      • What have we learned from the ACEs study?
      • What have we learned from neuroscience?
      • Weekly wrap up
    • Week 3

      How does trauma impact on the education experience?
      • Getting Started
      • Impact of complex trauma on the education experience
      • Impact on living and learning
      • Considerations for adolescence
      • Developing Resilience
      • Wrap up and Look forward
    • Week 4

      What are the intergenerational impacts of trauma on students?
      • Getting Started
      • How is trauma transmitted across generations?
      • First Nations communities
      • Other groups of students to consider
      • Wrap up and Look forward
    • Week 5

      Consolidation Week
      • Assessment One
      • Wrap up and Look forward
    • Week 6

      How can trauma awareness shape policy and student support planning?
      • Getting started
      • Trauma Aware Education
      • Thinking about and reviewing policy and practice
      • Student Support Planning
      • Crisis Management
      • Wrap up and Look forward
    • Week 7

      What are the Trauma-Aware Strategies?
      • Getting started
      • Designing for Trauma-Aware Education 
      • More Trauma-Aware Strategies
      • Mindfulness and brain breaks
      • Wrap up and Look forward
    • Week 8

      How do we prepare for a whole-school approach?
      • Getting started
      • A whole-school/service approach
      • 7 Key Processes
      • Wrap up and Look Forward
    • Week 9

      How do we improve the systems and support staff wellbeing?
      • Getting Started
      • Trauma-Awareness in Education Systems
      • Personal and professional wellbeing of educators
      • Wrap up and Look forward
    • Week 10

      Finalisation Week
      • Assessment Two
      • Wrap up and Look forward
  • After learning

    Upon successful completion of assessment tasks within this microcredential you will receive your certificate of completion from Queensland University of Technology which can be used as academic credit into postgraduate study.

What you will receive

12 QUT Credits at Postgraduate level from Queensland University of Technology

The micro-credential is worth 12CP and can lead to advanced standing for EUN651 and EUN652 in the Graduate Certificate Trauma-aware education.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

A Certificate of Completion from Queensland University of Technology

This certificate is issued collaboratively by FutureLearn and QUT

Learn more about this organisation

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over multiple weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by Queensland University of Technology

QUT is a leading Australian university ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide by the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Located in Brisbane, it attracts over 50,000 students.

  • Established

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 180Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019

Delivered by experts

Judith is an Associate Professor with the Queensland University of Technology in Australia who leads important work in the area of Trauma-Aware Education.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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When would you like to start?

Enrolment for this microcredential is closed. We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Register to find out more about this microcredential and future start dates.

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    We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

    You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. If this Microcredential has any non-refundable costs they will be stated in the ‘Overview’ section above. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

    Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

    There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

    No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

    On successful completion of the Microcredential, you will earn credit for a postgraduate unit (six credit points) that can be applied as advanced standing when you enrol in QUT’s Graduate Certificate in Education or Master of Education.

    It is likely you would also be able to use this microcredential to apply for advanced standing for education degrees with other institutions. Please clarify with your chosen organisation.

    6 QUT credits = 15 UK credit modules = 4 US credit hours = 30 European Credit Transfer System

    Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.