Discipline: Professional Resources

Copyright: 2023

Grade(s): K - 8

Delivery Method: Print

Imprint: Heinemann

Trauma-Responsive Pedagogy: Teaching for Healing and Transformation

Trauma and adversity are increasingly common experiences for students and educators, with growing poverty, income inequality, social injustice, institutional inequity, and the global pandemic worsening the situation. Now more children are attending school while experiencing significant chronic and acute stressors. What can educators do to support students, help them learn, and ensure they reach their full potential? Trauma-informed schools are lauded as one way to address this challenge, but trauma-informed pedagogy can be hard to define and, consequently, difficult for teachers and schools to implement.

Trauma-Responsive Pedagogy explores the research and practices around trauma-informed education in an easy-to-digest, actionable text that elevates the healing and wellness of both the children and the adults in our classrooms. It describes the challenges of a classroom that does not attend to adversity and trauma, then presents the research on trauma-responsive classrooms, and finally provides an inclusive framework that supports educators in centering the whole child in their classrooms—offering a recipe for what to do next period, next week, and next school year. 

Pedagogy that is trauma-responsive invites us to heal alongside our students while explicitly elevating evidence-informed teaching methods and practices and facilitating the necessary inner work to bring our whole being to the profession in healthy ways. Our students’ challenges are not a deterrent to their learning. Together, we can turn wounds into wisdom. 

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