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. This guide is intended to raise awareness of 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. It can be used by classroom educators, as well as administrative and student services professionals, all of whom play a critical role in creating supportive learning environments.
Undergraduate Students Partnering with Staff to Develop Trauma-informed, Anti-racist Pedagogical Approaches: Intersecting Experiences of Three Student Partners
Rhoda Akua Ameyaa, Alison Cook-Sather, Kirtee Ramo, Hurum Maksora Tohfa
When the global pandemic intersected with the worldwide Black Lives Matter uprisings, undergraduate student partners, paid by the hour in an extension of an existing pedagogical partnership program, researched resources on trauma-informed, anti-racist and equitable approaches to hybrid and remote teaching and learning, contributed to annotated outlines of these resources gathered on a publicly accessible web page and met in pairs with cohorts of academic staff at our own institutions and across a ten-college consortium to consider how to implement the recommendations in the resources. Autoethnographic accounts of three black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) student partners experiences of this work revealed pedagogical partnership as: 1) a space for affirming the lived experiences of BAME students; 2) a structure that supports students in developing language to name their experiences so that staff can hear, respond to and act on them in revising pedagogical practices; 3) a way to create institutional roles that remunerate students for the work that otherwise might not get done or that remains invisible, uncompensated labor; and 4) an inspiration to students to carry the benefits of partnership work beyond the partnerships themselves.