Teacher and Social Work Competencies

Advancing Teacher and Social Work Competencies to Enhance School Performance of Adolescents Marginalized and Affected by Trauma

A major challenge for interns in the School of Education and the School of Social Work is to find ways to engage proactively with adolescents who have experienced violence, instability, and other traumatic incidents over the course of their young lives and to increase these students’ sense of safety, trust, and self-efficacy as well as develop their social-emotional learning competencies. These competencies are crucial for functioning effectively in school, as well as in students’ personal, civic, and work lives.

In order to better prepare future school social workers and educators to serve these students well, School of Social Work and School of Education faculty are creating structured and guided experiences for these professionals-in-training within the university context as well as in settings with real high school students who have had traumatic life experiences along with the teachers who educate and support them. These experiences will provide interns from both schools opportunities to gain hands-on experience working collaboratively with each other as well as with practicing teachers through curriculum development and implementation and/or planning and sustaining positive school and classroom learning communities. Having opportunities to work with a wide range of students, a critical mass, affected by traumatic life experiences will help U-M practitioners-in-training understand youth in more complex and nuanced ways that would inform their future practice. 

Project Team:
Shari Saunders, School of Education
Laura Roop, School of Education
Kathleen Faller, School of Social Work
Robert Ortega, School of Social Work
Beth Sherman, School of Social Work