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.
This book is the book that I wish I had when started my journey as an educator. Venet's work is not just important, it has the ability to recast our collective future into something more healthy, more human—more powerful. —Cornelius Minor, educator and author of We Got This: Equity Access, and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be
This is the book on trauma-informed education I've been waiting for. Practical and inspirational, affirming and challenging, patient and urgent, Venet invites us to consider the political dimensions of trauma and healing, correctly steering us away from savior narratives of damage and rescue and instead toward dreams of collective well-being and justice. —Carla Shalaby, author of Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School
Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education should be required reading for every educator and education leader. —Cindy Johnson, Executive Director, Edutopia
[B]rimming with timely and critical insights. Classroom teachers and school leaders will find it expansive in scope, intimate and engaging in style, and actionable in content. Crucially, Venet centers antiracism and social justice as fundamental to trauma-informed schooling, making this a vital resource for educators. —Elizabeth Dutro, PhD, Professor, School of Education, University of Colorado Boulder, author of The Vulnerable Heart of Literacy: Centering Trauma as Powerful Pedagogy
Venet's book has provided a critical framework for trauma-informed practice that centers the goals of educational equity and liberatory education. Teachers, administrators, district, and state leadership would be well served by applying this perspective as they aim to serve their students and communities. —Colleen Wilkinson, Director of Montessori Country Day School Houston and Consultant at Trauma Informed Montessori
About the Author:
Alex Shevrin Venet is an educator, professional development facilitator, and writer. She teaches in-service teachers at Antioch University and Castleton University, and undergraduate students at the Community College of Vermont. She is a former teacher/leader at an alternative therapeutic school. She lives in Winooski, Vermont.