Ending the Things

Submitted By:
Laura Reardon, Sierra Canyon School, Chatsworth, CA

Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education by Alex Shevrin Venet
W.W. Norton & Company, May 25, 2021

In Alex Shevrin Venet's introduction to Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education, the author calls into question whether trauma-informed education can transcend its buzzword status. Venet seeks to redefine the framework of trauma-informed practices, making visible their connection to equity work by elucidating the three shifts in practice, pedagogy, and policy necessary for sustained systems change within schools. Venet argues for centering equity and social justice in trauma-informed practices by asking the salient question, "Why is trauma-informed education an appealing topic for professional development, but ending the things that cause trauma is not?" The content of the text is structured around the six essential principles that define equity-centered, trauma-informed education, namely that it is antiracist, asset based, system oriented, human-centered, universal and proactive, and focused on social justice. Venet's work is replete with relevant examples from her experience in classrooms as well as the work of other researchers in the fields of equity and trauma. If we readily admit that students and teachers have experienced the last 22 months of the Covid-19 pandemic as trauma, then Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education provides a pathway forward.

Psychology & Human Development
Student Wellness & Safety
Teaching Practice