Date of Conferral
In the United States, approximately 26% of children will witness or experience a traumatic event before they turn 4 years old. Therefore, teachers must be prepared to meet the individual needs of children who exhibit symptoms of trauma. However, there is a gap in research regarding teachers' perspectives about how teacher preparation experiences influence teaching strategies and the creation of supportive environments for preschool children who have experienced trauma. Using Bandura's theory of self-efficacy, the purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore how teachers' perspectives about teacher preparation experiences influenced their teaching strategies and the creation of supportive environments for preschool children who have experienced trauma. In-depth interviews were used to collect data from 10 preschool teachers from a southern state who had varying teaching experience, degrees, and preparation experiences. The continuous data analysis process included organizing the data, reflecting on meaning, and identifying and coding key words and themes to answer the research questions. Results indicated that teacher preparation experiences influenced the participants' teaching strategies and the creation of supportive environments. However, the results also suggested a need for more content specific teacher preparation experiences. Potential social implications of this study include (a) improving teacher preparation opportunities, (b) an increase in teacher self-efficacy, (c) an increase in child development outcomes, and (d) adding to the current literature on teacher preparation and childhood trauma.