This paper explores the key challenges that children in care and children who have suffered adverse experiences face in their education and solutions to these challenges. Using a mixed-methods approach, the researcher conducted interviews with American secondary school teachers, a focus group with members of the USA’s Legal Centre for Foster Care and Education, an interview with EL Education’s Chief Academic Officer, and action-based research with 9th grade/year 10 students at Codman Academy Charter School in Boston, Massachusetts. The research identifies key steps that can be taken by educators to develop the spoken and written literacy skills of children that have had adverse childhood experiences, ranging from oracy-centred lesson planning, curriculum design and school pastoral support to positive reinforcement. It demonstrates the potential that this approach has to engage these children when educators utilise and apply their own speaking and listening skills effectively.
Sylvia Ikomi, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom