Implementing a Trauma Sensitive Framework within Geography

Authors: Katie Merkle*,
Topics: Higher Education
Keywords: Pedagogy,Trauma informed
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: 8223, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


How can trauma instruct pedagogy? While trauma is subjective, one thing is for sure; trauma can forever change how a person moves through and experiences the world around them. Trauma can affect self-esteem, personal relationships, one's professional life, and educational progress (Carello and Butler, 2015). How trauma can influence one's educational development is how trauma comes to intersect with pedagogical practices. Pedagogy is more than the act of teaching; it is the framework in which teaching, and subsequently learning, is done through (hooks, 1995). Furthermore, theory informs all pedagogical practices (hooks, 1995). For trauma to instruct pedagogy, trauma theories would have to be at the very center of instruction. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to put trauma theories to work by creating a trauma-sensitive classroom in Geography 114: the geography of race in the United States. In this paper, by drawing off of trauma-sensitive literature and feminist pedagogical practices, I develop three trauma-sensitive principles used to instruct an introduction Geography course: Geography of Race in the United States. The first being the notion that students are people, the second being the classroom as a communal space, and the third is the promotion of self-care and emotional safety.

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