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Agency, trauma, and how SLPs fit in

Educators can help students who have experienced adverse life experiences develop their sense of personal agency.

August 8, 2021

Agency is the belief that you can direct your life towards achieving your desired goals and aspirations despite adverse experiences or trauma. Students with agency feel that they are in control of their decisions and are responsible for their outcomes. Cultivating a sense of agency in students experiencing social alienation, disengagement, and powerlessness is important because they are at risk for dropping out of school and worse. Amitay and Rahav used in-school observations, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews of students, their parents, and staff in an Israeli alternative high school to determine which educational practices increased students’ sense of agency. They found that…

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