Educators must both respond to the impact of trauma, and prevent trauma at school.
Trauma-informed initiatives tend to focus on the challenging behaviors of students and ascribe them to circumstances that students are facing outside of school. This approach ignores the reality that inequity itself causes trauma, and that schools often heighten inequities when implementing trauma-informed practices that are not based in educational equity.
In this fresh look at trauma-informed practice, Alex Shevrin Venet urges educators to shift equity to the center as they consider policies and professional development. Using a framework of six principles for equity-centered trauma-informed education, Venet offers practical action steps that teachers and school leaders can take from any starting point, using the resources and influence at their disposal to make shifts in practice, pedagogy, and policy. Overthrowing inequitable systems is a process, not an overnight change. But transformation is possible when educators work together, and teachers can do more than they realize from within their own classrooms.