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The purpose of this study was to analyse the effects of implementing trauma-informed practices, such as restorative circles and mindfulness techniques, on academic performance and student behaviour. A mixed methods study was initiated to implement restorative practices and mindfulness techniques in an urban fifth grade class. Research was conducted to determine its effects on building students’ resiliencies and lessening patterns of distress. Teacher self-reflection journals, Daily Behaviour Assessment tools and positive verbiage were logged and utilised over a 6-weeks period. The class consisted of 26 students, with 49% of the students receiving tier II and III instruction and 15% of the students receiving social work services. An enhancement in academic performance, student behaviour and classroom climate was observed by the researchers. It is recommended that the researcher continues monitoring the effects of incorporating restorative and mindfulness practices within the classroom for the remainder of the school year, in addition to initiating school-wide training.
Keywords: Childhood trauma, trauma-informed schools, restorative practices, mindfulness interventions, effects of trauma.
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