This two-phase study investigated New Zealand primary school teachers’ knowledge and perceptions of childhood mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), and evaluated the effectiveness of a professional development workshop for enhancing teacher knowledge regarding mTBI. In phase one, 19 teachers from schools in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty engaged in interviews regarding their understanding of mTBI and their experiences of learning and professional development in regards to this topic. In phase two, 38 teachers across three schools participated in and evaluated a workshop that focused on increasing knowledge of possible mTBI effects and intervention strategies. The results of phase one found that teachers had a limited understanding of mTBI, its implications in childhood and how to manage its effects at school. Few had engaged in formal learning opportunities related to childhood TBI. In phase two, the brief professional development workshop resulted in a significant increase in TBI knowledge, with teachers identifying the need for practice adaptation. The findings enrich what is known regarding New Zealand teachers’ knowledge of mTBI and demonstrates the potential usefulness of brief professional development approaches to inform classroom practice and enhance functional outcomes for children who have experienced mTBI.
- Teacher professional development