Anzaldúa, J. M. (2022). “Internationalizing trauma-informed perspectives to address student trauma in post-pandemic higher education.” In R. Ammigan, R. Y. Chan, & K. Bista, (eds), COVID-19 and higher education in the global context: Exploring contemporary issues and challenges (154-171). STAR Scholars. https://starscholars.org/product/covid-19-and-higed/
Barlow, M. R., & Becker-Blease, K. (2012). Caring for our students in courses with potentially threatening content. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 36(2), 240-243. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684312442662
Bohannon, R.L., S. Clapsaddle, D. McCollum. Responding to College Students Who Exhibit Adverse Manifestations of Stress and Trauma in the College Classroom. FIRE Forum for International Research in Education 5(2) doi: 10.32865/fire201952164.
Citation/Abstract/Full-Text Free Retrieved from ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338414774_Responding_to_College_Students_Who_Exhibit_Adverse_Manifestations_of_Stress_and_Trauma_in_the_College_Classroom
Depression, anxiety disorders, and students who have experienced trauma have increased across the globe in the past decade. Teachers and students are not immune. Our schools and communities have increased violence and unrest that has resulted in a growing concern among educational leaders. Although most of the educational focus regarding stress and trauma in the classroom currently regards pre-kindergarten through high school levels, the impact that exposure to stress and trauma can have on students does not end there. Some college students may respond to being exposed to stressful or traumatic experiences with cognitive and behavioral manifestations of work avoidance, learned helplessness, or low self-efficacy. In addition to support that students can access outside of the college classroom, there are efforts that college faculty can undertake in order to support students who are struggling in college courses because of their exposure to stressful or traumatic events.
Borrowman, Shane, Ed. Trauma and the Teaching of Writing. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2006.
Deepening and broadening our understanding of what it means to teach in times of trauma, writing teachers analyze their own responses to national traumas ranging from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to the various appropriations of 9/11. Offering personal, historical, and cultural perspectives, they question both the purposes and pedagogies of teaching writing.
Buzick, Joan, “Understanding the Biopsychological Effects of Trauma on Learning: An Investigation of Interventions to Support Faculty” (2019). Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs). 2719. https://scholarship.shu.edu/dissertations/2719.
The current era in higher education has brought changes to the academic profession. Faculty have an increasing number of responsibilities in addition to their traditional role as an instructor. At the same time, faculty are engaging with a changing and diverse student population. The population has more challenges, with increased stressors, than have been historically observed in higher education students. For many, the stressors are trauma-related and are a growing concern. Trauma has been shown to impact cognitive, social, emotional, and physical well-being. What has been learned about trauma is, to a great extent, a result of the relatively recently emerged science of biopsychology. Biopsychological information has become an integral component in trauma-informed faculty development programs. While the perception is that these programs are effective, it is not known whether biopsychological knowledge could inform faculty understanding of student behaviors and whether faculty believe this new science could inform their teaching practices. The purpose of this study was to assess faculty knowledge and their attitudes and beliefs about practices as they pertain to the effectiveness of biopsychological knowledge related to trauma and to determine whether a trauma-informed workshop could effectively deliver this knowledge. The study also sought to understand the key factors necessary for facilitating these trauma programs. The results of this investigation indicate that faculty lack knowledge about the biopsychological effects of trauma on learning. Presenting a trauma-informed workshop was effective in increasing faculty knowledge and their belief that biopsychology can inform teaching practices. Faculty who attended the workshop had favorable attitudes prior to attending. Faculty indicated that time was the primary factor in impeding or inhibiting participating in trauma-informed programs.
Carello, J. (2020, April 6). Trauma-informed teaching & learning in times of crisis [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuRxxPK9Hyc& feature=youtu.be
Carello, J., & Butler, L. (2014). Potentially perilous pedagogies: Teaching trauma is not the same as trauma-informed teaching. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 15(2), 153–168. https://doi.org/10.1080/15299732.2014.867571
This article explores why and how trauma theory and research are currently used in higher education in nonclinical courses such as literature, women’s studies, film, education, anthropology, cultural studies, composition, and creative writing. In these contexts, traumatic material is presented not only indirectly in the form of texts and films that depict traumatic events but also directly in the form of what is most commonly referred to in nonclinical disciplines as trauma studies, cultural trauma studies, and critical trauma studies. Within these areas of study, some instructors promote potentially risky pedagogical practices involving trauma exposure or disclosure despite indications that these may be having deleterious effects. After examining the published rationales for such methods, we argue that given the high rates of trauma histories (66%–85%), posttraumatic stress disorder (9%–12%), and other past event–related distress among college students, student risk of retraumatization and secondary traumatization should be decreased rather than increased. To this end, we propose that a trauma-informed approach to pedagogy—one that recognizes these risks and prioritizes student emotional safety in learning—is essential, particularly in classes in which trauma theories or traumatic experiences are taught or disclosed.
Carello, J., & Butler, L. (2015). Practicing what we teach: Trauma-informed educational practice. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 35(3), 262–278. https://doi.org/10.1080/08841233.2015.1030059
Carello, J., Butler, L., & Critelli, F. (2019). Introduction to trauma and human rights: Context and content. In L. Butler, F. Critelli, & J. Carello (Eds.), Trauma and human rights: Integrating approaches to address human suffering (pp. 1–10). Palgrave Macmillan.
Carello, J. and P. Thompson (2021). Lessons from the Pandemic: Trauma-Informed Approaches to College, Crisis, Change. Palgrave/Macmillan, 2021.
This collection presents strategies for trauma-informed teaching and learning in higher education during crisis. While studies abound on trauma-informed approaches for mental health service providers, law enforcement, nurses, and K-12 educators, strategies geared to college faculty, staff, and administrators are not readily available and are now in high demand. This book joins a conversation in place about what COVID has taught us and how we are using what we have learned to construct a new discourse around teaching and learning during crisis.
Carello, Janice and P. Thompson, Eds. (2022). Trauma Informed Pedagogies: A Guide for Responding to Crisis and Inequality in Higher Education. Palgrave/Macmillan, 2022.
Cless, Jessica D. and B.S.N. Goff. 2017. “Teaching Trauma: A Model for Introducing Traumatic Materials in the Classroom.” Advances in Social Work. Vol. 18, No. 1. Special Issue: Trauma-Informed Practice. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18060/21177
University courses in disciplines such as social work, family studies, humanities, and other areas often use classroom materials that contain traumatic material (Barlow & Becker-Blease, 2012). While many recommendations based on trauma theory exist for instructors at the university level, these are often made in the context of clinical training programs, rather than at the undergraduate level across disciplines. Furthermore, no organized model exists to aid instructors in developing a trauma-informed pedagogy for teaching courses on traumatic stress, violence, and other topics that may pose a risk for secondary traumatic stress in the classroom (Kostouros, 2008). This paper seeks to bridge the gap between trauma theory and implementation of sensitive content in classrooms of higher education, and presents a model of trauma-informed teaching that was developed in the context of an undergraduate trauma studies program. Implications and future directions for research in the area of trauma-informed university classrooms are discussed.
Cox, Rebecca D. The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand One Another. Harvard University Press, 2009.
They’re not the students strolling across the bucolic liberal arts campuses where their grandfathers played football. They are first-generation college students—children of immigrants and blue-collar workers—who know that their hopes for success hinge on a degree. But college is expensive, unfamiliar, and intimidating. Inexperienced students expect tough classes and demanding, remote faculty. They may not know what an assignment means, what a score indicates, or that a single grade is not a definitive measure of ability. And they certainly don’t feel entitled to be there. They do not presume success, and if they have a problem, they don’t expect to receive help or even a second chance. Rebecca D. Cox draws on five years of interviews and observations at community colleges. She shows how students and their instructors misunderstand and ultimately fail one another, despite good intentions. Most memorably, she describes how easily students can feel defeated—by their real-world responsibilities and by the demands of college—and come to conclude that they just don’t belong there after all. Eye-opening even for experienced faculty and administrators, The College Fear Factor reveals how the traditional college culture can actually pose obstacles to students’ success, and suggests strategies for effectively explaining academic expectations.
Davidson, S. (2017). Trauma-informed practices for postsecondary education: A guide. Education Northwest. https://educationnorthwest.org/sites/default/files/resources/trauma-informed-practices-postsecondary-508.pdf
All students face challenges as they transition into college, but it can be all the more difficult for those who arrive on campus with a history of trauma. Additionally, college students are at higher risk of experiencing new trauma, including sexual assault, than members of the general public. Trauma increases susceptibility to depression and substance abuse, making it a pressing concern for campus mental health and student services professionals.Oregon Community College Association’s Student Success Center partnered with Education Northwest to develop this free, downloadable resource for college instructors, administrators and student service professionals. This guide is intended to raise awareness about trauma in postsecondary education institutions, help educators understand how trauma affects learning and development, and provide practical advice for how to work effectively with college students who have been exposed to trauma.
Douglass, Laura, A. Threlkeld, L. Merriweather. Trauma in Adult and Higher Education: Conversations and Critical Reflections. Information Age Publishing, 2022.
Trauma in Adult and Higher Education: Conversations and Critical Reflections invites readers to think deeply about the experiences of trauma they witness in and outside of the classroom, because trauma alters adult learners’ experience by disrupting identity, and interfering with memory, relationships and creativity. Through essays, narratives, and cultural critiques, the reader is invited to rethink education as more than upskilling and content mastery; education is a space where dialogue has the potential to unlock an individual’s sense of power and self-mastery that enables them to make sense of violence, tragedy and trauma.
Eyler, J.R. (2018). How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories Behind Effective College Teaching.
Even on good days, teaching is a challenging profession. One way to make the job of college instructors easier, however, is to know more about the way students learn. How Humans Learn aims to do just that by peering behind the curtain and surveying research in fields as diverse as developmental psychology, anthropology, and cognitive neuroscience for insight behind learning. Eyler identifies five broad themes running through the recent scientific inquiry—curiosity, sociality, emotion, authenticity, and failure—devoting a chapter to each and providing practical takeaways for busy teachers.
Felten, P. and L.M. Lambert (2020). Relationship Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College. Johns Hopkins University Press.
What single factor makes for an excellent college education? As it turns out, it’s pretty simple: human relationships. Decades of research demonstrate the transformative potential and the lasting legacies of a relationship-rich college experience. Critics suggest that to build connections with peers, faculty, staff, and other mentors is expensive and only an option at elite institutions where instructors have the luxury of time with students. But in this revelatory book brimming with the voices of students, faculty, and staff from across the country, Peter Felten and Leo M. Lambert argue that relationship-rich environments can and should exist for all students at all types of institutions. In Relationship-Rich Education, Felten and Lambert demonstrate that for relationships to be central in undergraduate education, colleges and universities do not require immense resources, privileged students, or specially qualified faculty and staff. All students learn best in an environment characterized by high expectation and high support, and all faculty and staff can learn to teach and work in ways that enable relationship-based education. Emphasizing the centrality of the classroom experience to fostering quality relationships, Felten and Lambert focus on students’ influence in shaping the learning environment for their peers, as well as the key difference a single, well-timed conversation can make in a student’s life. They also stress that relationship-rich education is particularly important for first-generation college students, who bring significant capacities to college but often face long-standing inequities and barriers to attaining their educational aspirations. Drawing on nearly 400 interviews with students, faculty, and staff at 29 higher education institutions across the country, Relationship-Rich Education provides readers with practical advice on how they can develop and sustain powerful relationship-based learning in their own contexts. Ultimately, the book is an invitation—and a challenge—for faculty, administrators, and student life staff to move relationships from the periphery to the center of undergraduate education.
Garcia, S.A. (2019). Contesting Trauma and Violence through Indigeneity and a Decolonizing Pedagogy at Rio Hondo Community College. Journal of Latinos and Education, Vol. 20, Issue 4 (2021) 376-396. https://doi.org/10.1080/15348431.2019.1603749
Over a period of nine years (2011–2019), I have had the opportunity to engage with – and to contextualize through a decolonial and mental health lens – the growing threats to and the policing of students at different Southern Californian community colleges. These interactions occurred with a non-White majority of students, mainly Xicanas/os, who were present in these community college classes in large numbers. In this paper, I write about a decolonizing teaching strategy that is both culturally sustaining and revitalizing, and conscious of race. Students of Mesoamerican ancestry, identified by the community colleges as Hispanic, benefit when teachers engage them through an Indigenous lens, affording to such students their rightful place as Native Americans to combat forms of trauma and violence. In addition, I outline the initial observations of the Mesoamerican Figurine Project of Rio Hondo College, where students materialized their own views of the human body and self through clay-work and reflective writing. Using the Borderlands lens and the Coatlicue State – I posit “a teaching archaeology of the human body” that nurtures self-determination and births an Indigeneity grounded in land and cosmology.
Gere, S.H., & P. Dass-Brailsford, L.T. Hoshmand (2009). Issues in Integrating Trauma Curriculum into a Graduate Counseling Psychology Program. Journal of Counselling. Vol. 16, No. 1, 67-88.
Contemporary graduate training in counseling demands an increased focus on understanding and intervening in the many recognized forms of posttraumatic reactions. From natural disasters to human violence inflicted on a domestic, national, and international scale, traumatic events are currently understood to be normative rather than outside the range of usual human experience. Thus, understanding posttraumatic experience is important for general counseling practitioners as well as for trauma specialists. However, there have been relatively few attempts to integrate several decades of clinical trauma research and interventions into counselor training programs. This article describes the values, structure, and methods associated with trauma training within a graduate counseling program. It also describes some of the necessary general educational factors that support students who engage with this difficult material
Goddard, A., R.W. Jones, D. Esposito, E. Janicek (2021). Trauma informed education in nursing: A call for action. Nurse Education Today Vol. 101, June 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2021.104880
Principles of trauma-informed care and resiliency building guides this call to action for trauma awareness in nursing education, aiming to guide nursing educators, researchers, and leaders in support, retention, and building foundational skill-sets in a now traumatized nursing student population. Nursing students have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in documented trauma, complicated grief, depression, anxiety, and secondary stress syndrome. Students entering health care in a new landscape of ongoing trauma and chronic stress exposure require a shift in the nurse educators’ role and position. Extensive outcome-based synthesis of trauma-informed education in other disciplines served as basis to create a pedagogical context using the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) framework for trauma-informed schools. Utilizing Watson’s strategies for human caring theory in nursing education, a trauma-informed pedagogy is proposed for nurse educators. This framework for nurse educators and leaders will assist in navigating how to approach trauma-informed education in the context of higher education in nursing. It is time for a paradigm shift in nursing education towards a more collaborative, relational model with students, based on trauma-informed care; where trauma awareness and the impact on one’s being serves purpose for the nursing student.
Goldrick-Rab, Sara. “Beyond the Food Pantry: Spreading the Word – Supporting Students’ Basic Needs with a Syllabus Statement and Welcome Survey.” The Hope Center: For College, Community, and Justice. 9 December 2020. https://hope4college.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/BTFP_SyllabusStatement_WelcomeSurvey.pdf
Updated December 9, 2020
The persistent underutilization of campus support services is a challenge facing institutions wishing to support students’ basic needs. Campus food pantries and emergency aid programs, for example, tend to serve only a small fraction of food-insecure students on campus. While this can partly be attributed to stigma, it is also because of a lack of awareness. Sharing information about supports for students’ basic needs on course syllabi is an inexpensive, efficient, and effective way to raise awareness among both students and faculty. While syllabi are famously dense documents filled with course information, they are also communication devices that convey information about the institution’s values and policies. Students receive several syllabi per term, every term, which can reinforce policies over time. It may be more effective to convey information about supports for students’ basic needs via the syllabus than solely during what can be an overwhelming initial college orientation or the stressful moment when a student is in financial or academic trouble. Adding a basic needs security statement to course syllabi also creates opportunities to share information with faculty. Many professors have little interaction with the staff who advise and support students outside the classroom and have limited opportunities to learn about all available services. Since they are already required to add a designated set of information to the syllabus every term (e.g. attendance and disciplinary policies, disability accommodations, etc.) a basic needs security statement offers them another reminder and refresher.
Gutierrez, Daniel, A. Gutierrez (2019). “Developing A Trauma-Informed Lens in the College Classroom and Empowering Students through Building Positive Relationships. 2019. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, Vol. 12, No. 1, 11-17.
In many social science college courses, professors cover a wide variety of topics that may act as triggers for victims of trauma in both traditional and online courses. At the same time, we may also encounter students who suffer trauma during their college experience. The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of creating a safe and empowering environment in college classrooms regardless of what subjects we teach. Safe environments and the relationships we build with our students play a vital role in student success by understanding the importance of being trauma-informed.
Ham, J. (2017). Understanding Trauma: Learning Brain versus Survival Brain. https://youtu.be/KoqaUANGvpA
While this very useful video orients towards learning and trauma in children, the information easily translates to adult learning as well. This video reframes a trauma perspective in terms of learning brain versus survival brain as a way to make it easier for teachers to talk about trauma with students.
Harper, G. W., & Neubauer, L. C. (2020). Teaching during a pandemic: A model for trauma-informed education and administration. Pedagogy in Health Promotion.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) realities have demanded that educators move swiftly to adopt new ways of teaching, advising, and mentoring. We suggest the centering of a trauma-informed approach to education and academic administration during the COVID-19 pandemic using the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) guidance on trauma-informed approaches to care. In our model for trauma-informed education and administration (M-TIEA), SAMHSA’s four key organizational assumptions are foundational, including a realization about trauma and its wide-ranging effects; a recognition of the basic signs and symptoms of trauma; a response that involves fully integrating knowledge into programs, policies, and practices; and an active process for resisting retraumatization. Since educators during the pandemic must follow new restrictions regarding how they teach, we have expanded the practice of teaching in M-TIEA to include both academic administrators’ decision making about teaching, and educators’ planning and implementation of teaching. In M-TIEA, SAMHSA’s six guiding principles for a trauma-informed approach are infused into these two interrelated teaching processes, and include the following: safety; trustworthiness and transparency; peer support; collaboration and mutuality; empowerment, voice, and choice; and cultural, historical, and gender issues. M-TIEA’s organizational assumptions, processes, and principles are situated within an outer context that acknowledges the potential influences of four types of intersectional traumas and stressors that may occur at multiple socioecological levels: pandemic-related trauma and stressors; other forms of individual, group, community, or mass trauma and stressors; historical trauma; and current general life stressors. This acknowledges that all trauma-informed work is dynamic and may be influenced by contextual factors.
Horsman, Jenny. Too Scared to Learn: Women, Violence, and Education. Routledge, 2000.
Too Scared to Learn explores the impact of women’s experiences of violence on their learning, and proposes radical changes to educational programs through connecting therapeutic and educational discourses. Little attention has previously been paid to the impact of violence on learning. A large percentage of women who come to adult literacy programs have experienced, or are currently experiencing, violence in their lives. This experience of violence negatively affects their ability to improve their literacy skills. Literacy programs and other educational programs have not integrated this reality into their work. This book builds on extensive research that revealed the wide range of impacts violence has on adult literacy learning. Interviews with counselors and therapists, literacy learners, and educators working in different situations, and a wide range of theoretical and experiential literature, form the basis of the analysis. Educators are offered information to support reconceptualizing programs and practices and making concrete changes that will enable women to learn more effectively. The book makes clear that without an acknowledgment of the impact of violence on learning, women, rather than getting a chance to succeed and improve their literacy skills, get only a chance to fail, confirming to themselves that they really cannot learn.
Imad, M. (2020). “Leveraging the Neuroscience of Now.” Inside Higher Ed. 3 June 2020. https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2020/06/03/seven-recommendations-helping-students-thrive-times-trauma
Mays Imad explores seven ways professors can help students thrive in class in times of trauma.
Imad, Mays (2021). “A Conversation with Mays Imad: Trauma-Informed Pedagogy and the Art History Classroom.” Art Journal Open. Jenevieve De Los Santos with Mays Imad 11 March 2021. http://artjournal.collegeart.org/?p=15236
This conversation is the first of a series titled “Hard Lessons: Trauma, Teaching, Art History.” Crafted in a moment of extraordinary collective trauma, the series acknowledges and examines the myriad ways we encounter trauma within our varied teaching practices. In our classrooms, we regularly confront horrifying histories of racialized and gendered violence, oppression, imperialism, colonialism, and other abuses of power. Often, we engage with artworks whose beauty obfuscates violent pasts and presents; other objects deliberately evoke affective responses from viewers by means of their formal elements. Students and instructors alike bring diverse and unknown backgrounds and experiences to the study of arts practice and discourse. But our classrooms are also rhizomatic networks of collaboration, of community, and of imagination. “Hard Lessons” takes seriously the crucial significance and transformative power of pedagogy, particularly as it intersects with the teaching of visual culture.
Through a series of contributions from art historians, practicing artists, and museum educators, “Hard Lessons” explores the multivalent ways in which arts educators make space for learning through varied, and often intersecting, experiences of personal and collective traumas. In content ranging from interviews and roundtables to critical essays and toolkits, we aim to bridge the gap between theory and praxis for arts educators. We hope that the space “Hard Lessons” carves out for critical reflection, coupled with the tools and actionable advice offered by our contributors, will provide support for educators not just during this period of collective trauma, but beyond: we aim to foster an extended conversation, one that continues to build trauma-informed pedagogies explicitly tied to the teaching of visual materials as we return to in-person teaching and open museum doors.
Imad, M. (2021). Transcending Adversity: Trauma-Informed Educational Development. Educational Development in the Time of Crises. Vol. 39, Issue 3, Spring 2021. https://doi.org/10.3998/tia.17063888.0039.301
The purpose of this article is to reflect on the pertinence and utility of using a trauma-informed lens in educational development. A trauma-informed approach is a framework grounded in an understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma. After I describe the primary source of traumatic stress many faculty members are experiencing, I offer trauma-informed suggestions for how educational developers can help mitigate the effects of that stress. Importantly, in order to do this work of supporting faculty effectively and sustainably, it is critical that educational developers continue to attend to their own well-being. The overarching theme of this article is the importance of cultivating empowering relationships to help engage faculty members in supporting and improving the design and development of inclusive and equitable student learning experiences.
Imad, M and B. Stachowiak. “Trauma-Informed Teaching and Learning.” Teaching in Higher Ed. 12 November 2020. Podcast. https://teachinginhighered.com/podcast/trauma-informed-teaching-and-learning/
Immordino-Yang, M. H. (2016). Emotions, learning, and the brain: Exploring the educational implications of affective neuroscience. W. W. Norton & Company.
In this ground-breaking collection, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang—an affective neuro-scientist, human development psychologist, and former public school teacher—presents a decade of work with the potential to revolutionize educational theory and practice by deeply enriching our understanding of the complex connection between emotion and learning. With her signature talent for explaining and interpreting neuroscientific findings in practical, teacher-relevant terms, Immordino-Yang offers two simple but profound ideas: first, that emotions are such powerful motivators of learning because they activate brain mechanisms that originally evolved to manage our basic survival; and second, that meaningful thinking and learning are inherently emotional, because we only think deeply about things we care about. Together, these insights suggest that in order to motivate students for academic learning, produce deep understanding, and ensure the transfer of educational experiences into real-world skills and careers, educators must find ways to leverage the emotional aspects of learning. Emotions, Learning, and the Brain is the educator’s foray into the neurobiology of emotion. It is a game-changing book that will transform the way teachers think about learning.
Isserlis, J. (2000). Trauma and the Adult English Language Learner. National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education Washington DC., Center for Applied Linguistics Washington DC. ERIC Digest ED444397.
English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) practitioners are familiar with adult learners’ stories of disruption, political trauma, and mental upheaval. Until recently, however, little attention has been paid to personal trauma and domestic abuse. Acknowledgement of the prevalence of violence generally, and of that experienced by those in the adult ESL and literacy community specifically, is critical to the development of instructional approaches that make classrooms safer and learning more possible for adult immigrant learners. This digest describes trauma and abuse in immigrant communities (concerning mainly women and children), discusses the effects of trauma on learning, and suggests ways in which practitioners can modify their practice to facilitate learning among victims of trauma and violence. A long list of implications for practice are discussed, and among the suggestions to teachers are the following: listen to learners and allow their concerns about violence to surface in one form or another; offer content and activities that allow learners to share as much or as little information as they want; allow learners to choose their level of participation in classroom activities; find out about community resources; and avoid the assumption that all immigrant learners are victims of traumas. It is concluded that although strides have been made in raising public awareness about the prevalence of violence in all forms and its effects upon learning, work remains to be done.
Johnson, R. “Trauma and Learning: Impacts and Strategies for Adult Classroom Success.” MinneTESOL Journal 34 (2) Fall 2018.
Citation/Abstract Retrieved from Semantic Scholar: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Trauma-and-Learning-%3A-Impacts-and-Strategies-for-Johnson/13d4b1dfa76708493a00dc6dc5a41bad41878135
Discussions of traumatic exposure and their impacts on the classroom have become increasingly common in education circles in recent years, befitting its serious impact on subsequent quality of life and its prevalence in society. In the United States, up to 90% of adults report having experienced at least one potentially traumatic event (PTE) in their lifetime (Kessler, Sonnega, Bromet, Hughes, & Nelson, 1995; Kilpatrick et al, 2013). Furthermore, the majority of people who experience one PTE tend to experience additional PTEs (Kessler et al, 1995; Kilpatrick et al, 2013). An international study representing individuals from 24 countries found that over 70% of respondents experienced at least one PTE, and 30.5% had experienced four or more (Benjet et al, 2015). PTEs include childhood neglect; sexual, physical or emotional abuse; natural disasters; interpersonal violence; and generational or historical traumas.
Lipson, Sarah Ketchen, et. al. The Role of Faculty in Student Mental Health. Boston University, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Mary Christie Institute, Healthy Minds Network.
Newhouse, K. (2020). Four Core Priorities for Trauma-Informed Distance Learning. KQED.
Oakley, B. (2014). Learning how to Learn. TEDxOakland University. https://youtu.be/O96fE1E-rf8
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Engineering professor Barbara Oakley is co-teaching one of the world’s largest online classes, “Learning How to Learn”, https://www.coursera.org/course/learning. She knows firsthand how it feels to struggle with math. Dr. Oakley flunked her way through high school math and science courses, before enlisting in the U.S. Army immediately after graduation. When she saw how her lack of mathematical and technical savvy severely limited her options—both to rise in the military and to explore other careers—she returned to school with a new found determination to re-tool her brain to master the very subjects that had given her so much trouble throughout her entire life. Barbara Oakley, PhD, PE is a professor of engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Her research focuses on the complex relationship between neuroscience and social behavior, and has been described as “revolutionary” by the Wall Street Journal.
Perry, B. D. (2006). Fear and learning: Trauma-related factors in the adult education process. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 110, 21.
Citation/Abstract Retrieved from Wiley: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ace.215
Adverse learning experiences in childhood may affect the adult’s capacity to learn throughout the lifespan. Suggestions for adult educators are provided.
Robertson, C. (2021). Perceptions of Resilience-Informed Education In ETSU Postsecondary Instructors. Strong BRAIN Institute Resilience Presentation Series Archive. https://www.etsu.edu/institute/strong-brain/resources.php
This presentation is based on research conducted by Dr. Robertson at ETSU in the Spring/Summer of 2021 to lessen the knowledge gap on trauma-informed (T-I) teaching practices within higher education. The study assessed how instructors’ disciplinary specialization related to their receptivity to compassionate teaching practices. A second aim was to implement a brief intervention by informing instructors about ACE’s, subsequent effects on learning, and evidenced based T-I teaching practices. Note: While the presentation does not discuss in detail the history and culture of higher educational practices and what some of the unique characteristics are that might account for resistance to establishing trauma informed in higher education, exploring aspects of this resistance represents an important inquiry.
Samuel, T.S., J.W. Samuel (2021) “I Can Math!”: Reducing Math Anxiety and Increasing Math Self-Efficacy Using a Mindfulness and Growth Mindset-Based Intervention in First-Year Students, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 45:3, 205-222, DOI: 10.1080/10668926.2019.1666063
Math anxiety is a debilitating problem that affects many community college students. Neuropsychological research suggests that negative rumination when anticipating math situations substantially exhausts working memory load, contributes to execution anxiety, which interferes with learning and performance. Studies have shown that improving the psychological experience in the classroom could have a positive impact on students’ academic achievement. However, there is little to no research employing interventions designed to specifically address anticipation and execution math anxiety in community college students. The current research investigated the effect of embedding a combined mindfulness and growth mindset intervention within a required first-year, two-semester developmental statistics course. Results from this mixed methods pilot study indicate that this new combined approach not only reduced math anxiety, but had also increased math self-efficacy in a sample of college students. Replication of the research is warranted in order to substantiate the preliminary results.
Sherwood, Dee, Karen VanDeusen, Bridget Weller & Jessica Gladden (2021): Teaching Note—Teaching Trauma Content Online During COVID-19: A Trauma-Informed and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Journal of Social Work Education, DOI:10.1080/10437797.2021.1916665
Teaching and learning during disasters presents challenges and opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic and concomitant social and economic devastation altered almost every aspect of daily life. Subsequent police brutality, racial injustice, and environmental disasters disproportionately affected historically marginalized communities. Within this context, we, as faculty teaching in a graduate clinical social work program with a specialization in trauma, critically appraised and adapted our teaching to a synchronous online format. We integrated critical elements of trauma-informed and culturally responsive teaching in the development of a pedagogical model. In this article, we present a Trauma Informed and Culturally Responsive pedagogy, and describe relevant teaching principles, concepts, and strategies. We offer lessons learned and provide recommendations for social work education.