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Trauma-Informed Pedagogy Resources: Subject-specific


Bischoping, K. (2004). Timor mortis conturbat me: genocide pedagogy and vicarious trauma. Journal of Genocide Research, 6(4), 545–566.

Genocide instructors in the social sciences speak little of how their pedagogy should address students' emotions, and even less of their own emotional states. I provide a personal narrative about my teaching experiences that illustrates the issues that instructors may face and the significance of addressing them. The narrative is analyzed using three concepts from social and clinical psychology—burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious traumatization—with which instructors should familiarize themselves. These concepts are also employed to identify characteristics of genocide studies that increase the burden on instructors, including the isolation in which many work, the historical persistence of genocide, and the discourse of obligation in genocide studies. I propose that, were genocide researchers to cast a much wider net as they select cases for comparison, some of the burdens of their fearful topic would be alleviated.

Goldsmith, C. (2021). Navigating pandemic teaching via individualized faculty professional development. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Higher Education, v6 n1 p135-141 

As the universities across the country shifted to online instruction in March 2020, faculty development program administrators faced challenges in providing authentic and useful pedagogical resources to their already overwhelmed instructors. This one-person case study explores a mode of professional development which engages a faculty member in sustained, personal communications to support his disciplinary writing online course development. Both trauma-informed and relationship-centered, this alternative professional development model featured real-time reflection which resulted in high quality pedagogical adjustments to one disciplinary literacy instructor's newly online course.  

Gubkin, L. (2015). From empathetic understanding to engaged witnessing: encountering trauma in the Holocaust classroom. Teaching Theology & Religion, 18(2), 103–120.

A commitment to empathetic understanding shaped the field of religious studies; although subject to critique, it remains an important teaching practice where students are charged with the task of recognizing, and perhaps even appreciating, a worldview that appears significantly different from their own. However, when the focus of the course is historical trauma there are significant epistemological and ethical reasons empathetic understanding may not be our best pedagogical strategy. Drawing primarily on my experience teaching a general education class 'The Holocaust and Its Impact' at California State University, Bakersfield, I advocate replacing empathetic understanding with engaged witnessing as a pedagogical framework and strategy for teaching traumatic knowledge. To make this case, I delineate four qualities of engaged witnessing and demonstrate their use in teaching about the Holocaust.

Harper, G., Neubauer, L. Teaching during a pandemic: A model for trauma-informed education and administration

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.

Katz, S., & Haldar, D. (2016). The pedagogy of trauma-informed lawyering. Clinical Law Review, 22(2), 359–393.

"Trauma-informed practice" is an increasingly prevalent approach in the delivery of therapeutic services, social and human services, and now legal practice. Put simply, the hallmarks of trauma-informed practice are when the practitioner puts the realities of the client's trauma experiences at the forefront in engaging with the client, and adjusts the practice approach informed by the individual client's trauma experience. Trauma-informed practice also encompasses the practitioner employing modes of self-care to counterbalance the effect the client's trauma experience may have on the practitioner. This article posits that teaching trauma-informed practice in law school clinics furthers the goals of clinical teaching, and is a critical aspect of preparing law students for legal careers. Trauma-informed practice is relevant to many legal practice areas. Clients frequently seek legal assistance at a time when they are highly vulnerable and emotional. As clinical professors who each supervise a family law clinic, we of course teach our students how to connect with their clients, while drawing the appropriate boundaries of the attorney-client relationship. Equally challenging and important is helping our students cultivate insight into identifying and addressing trauma and its effects. Many of our clinics' clients are survivors of intimate partner violence or have experienced other significant traumatic events that are relevant to their family court matters. Law students should learn to recognize the effects these traumatic experiences may have on their clients' actions and behaviors. Further, law students should learn to recognize the effect that their clients' stories and hardships are having on their own advocacy and lives as a whole. It is particularly crucial that we educate our law students about the effects of vicarious trauma and help them develop tools to manage its effects as they move through their clinical work and ultimately into legal practice. This article argues that four key characteristics of trauma-informed lawyering are: identifying trauma, adjusting the attorney-client relationship, adapting litigation strategy, and preventing vicarious trauma. Specifically, the article discusses how to teach trauma-informed lawyering through direct examples of pedagogical approaches. 

Marquart, M., Báez, J. Recommitting to trauma-informed teaching principles to support student learning: An example of a transformation in response to the coronavirus pandemic

In our roles as adjunct faculty and full time higher education administrators managing an online program, the two authors were already using Trauma Informed Teaching and Learning (TITL) practices in our own classrooms and training and mentoring faculty on the use of TITL practices as well. However, as a result of the pandemic, we both found that our use of trauma-informed teaching and learning practices significantly increased, particularly our compassion, collaboration with students, and flexibility with assignment deadlines. In this essay, we reflect on our individualized experiences as adjunct faculty, one teaching during the first semester of the pandemic in March-May and the other teaching during the second semester of the pandemic in May-July. Because of the collective trauma and distress of the pandemic, we gained a new perspective on a practice we believed in -- we reconceptualized TITL practices as much more fundamental to teaching, both now and in the long term.

Pica-Smith, C; Scannell, C. (2020). Teaching and learning for this moment: How a trauma-informed lens can guide our praxis. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Higher Education, v5 n1 p76-83 

In this time of COVID-19, continued and relentless violence against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, (BIPOC), organized resistance by many young people, and violent institutionalized attempts to suppress resistance, demonstrations and social change movements, what should educators be thinking about as we return to our college classrooms? In this short piece, we share our thinking and experience about our students' psycho-social needs and our belief that faculty must be focused both on students' and faculty's socio-political context and students' and faculty's emotional wellbeing as we think about teaching and learning for this moment.