Episode #3

SHOW NOTES – Interview with Tom Brunzell


Trauma-informed Positive Education with Tom Brunzell

About Tom:

Tom Brunzell (MS, EdM, PhD candidate) has experience as a teacher, school leader, researcher and education advisor in New York City and Melbourne. Currently, he is the Director of Education at Berry Street, Victoria's largest child and family welfare organization working with trauma-affected children and their families. Tom presents internationally on topics of transforming school cultures, high expectations for differentiated instruction, trauma-informed practice, wellbeing and the application of positive psychology, and effective school leadership. He is also a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Graduate School of Education studying trauma-informed pedagogy, positive psychology, and their impacts on workplace meaning.

Key information:

  • What is trauma-informed Positive Education?
  • Why shouldn’t you give up on mindfulness if students don’t respond immediately?
  • Why do traumatised students often struggle with mindfulness?
  • Why is the body so important in Positive Education?
  • What are some strategies for educators to implement in the classroom?
  • How can you promote post-traumatic growth?
  • How can teachers best cultivate a positive environment in the classroom?
  • What are the five domains of the Berry Street Model?

Episode Content:

00:00 – Introduction and welcome
00:19 – How did Tom get into the field of education?
01:09 – What work did Tom undertake with Martin Seligman?
03:33 – What brought Tom to Australia?
04:35 – How was the Berry Street Model of trauma informed Positive Education developed?
08:36 – What strategies does Tom share with educators he speaks to?
11:10 – Why is Positive Education applicable to all schools?
14:51 – Trauma-informed pedagogy, positive psychology, and their impacts on workplace meaning, the focus of Tom’s PHD.
19:30 – How has Tom’s research further developed the Berry Street Model?
20:07 – After conducting his research, what is Tom’s advice for teachers if they want to improve their own wellbeing?
21:39 – What does the Berry Street Model encompass and what would someone get out of undertaking the associated training?
26:26 – Where should a school start with Positive Education?
28:15 – What has been the reach in implementing the Berry Street Model?

    Episode Resources:

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