Research on ACE Scores in Teachers?


I’m new to the Ace Connection.  I’m excited to be a member.

Question:  I am pursuing a Master’s Degree in Education Administration.  I would like to do my master’s thesis’s on teachers’ personal ACE score and their perception of discipline practices in schools.  Does anyone know of research that addresses these issues (or something simliar)? Thanks in advance!

Original Post

So, I googled  your question and it is interesting that everyone out there in cyberspace is getting on the bandwagon and dealing with children's ACEs (especially teachers, schools and school districts), but if, according to ACEs studies, 2/3 of adults have at least 1 ACE, your question has a lot of validity!  I would suspect (from some incidences that have happened at local schools) that many of the people who are teaching our children, also, in fact, have a number of ACEs themselves, and should be learning how to handle their own trauma, before they inflict it on the children of the future.  This is a fantastic extrapolation;  and I don't think there are many stats, may have to create some surveys on your own, perhaps starting with your own professors!  I wish you luck!

Hello Alma,

This will be a great research project. While I don't have any stats for you, I can talk anecdotally that you will likely find high numbers. My colleague, Chris Swenson-Smith and I have taught approximately 700 local educators in the past several years on ACEs, how trauma commonly presents in the classroom, and trauma-informed schools (and vicarious trauma). Based on responses to these presentations, I think that you can expect high numbers. As is true in many of the child helping professions, those with high ACEs can gravitate to teaching. Many of those with high ACES found their significant adults/resiliency in teachers. Once your research is complete, I will be highly interested in reading and using your data.

Hello, I am a new member to this forum as well and have had training in childhood trauma and its effects years ago. However, I  have seen firsthand a significant disconnection in K -12 teachers and their awareness of trauma-informed practices and just like you Alma, I am doing my MA thesis on these practices and teacher awareness to build curriculums in schools. I have found that the word trauma has a stigma to it in itself and therefore it alters an educators mind to think TRAUMA is not my specialty. Working in the education field for 20 years, I have seen that behaviors arise and students are 1) either sent to the principals office 2) suspended or 3) referred to the school psychologist, but in reality all three steps could have been avoided with a simple trauma-informed practice activity to build resiliency not only in the child with behavior issues but also for the whole class. There is an abundance of research on this topic I wish schools would change some policies and bring awareness to the importance of these practices in schools. I look forward to reading feedback from everyone. 

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Karen Clemmer