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Just School. Just Growth (Session 2 of 3) – Intersection of Trauma & Equity: Activism & Action are Empowering

Equity, Social-Emotional Learning, TMI Education-Envision

Just School. Just Growth: The Path to Student Agency

Just:  /jəst/ adjective based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.

All learning is social and emotional, but to truly thrive, students require equitable and trauma-informed learning spaces.  Equity, Trauma-informed, and SEL work as instrumental in reducing toxic stress and creating safe, nurturing, and stable environments for each child. It is here where we will be successful at closing the pervasive opportunity gap

Overarching Goals:

We are excited for you to join us on this journey! We will use this integrated roadmap to create and maintain learning spaces where each student feels and is – safe, connected, supported, and challenged.  Each session contains the recursive threads of SEL, Equity and Healing Informed practices for Trauma that encourage us to reimagine, reinvent classrooms and schools around the principles of equity, authentic learning, and stronger relationships.  

Collaboratively, we will map the connections among these three driving initiatives to quell overwhelm and ensure PD is balanced and focused on our unique needs. Every session makes concrete connections between what we are doing in our daily practices and larger outcomes.

All of our Just School. Just Growth: A Path to Student Agency sessions are led by its program developer, Sharon McCarthy, popular TMI-ENVISION SEL Specialist/Lead Consultant, ENVISION President dynamic presenter and author.

Note: According to a CORE Education report (2017) the benefits of student agency are: Students take ownership of their learning; Students develop self-regulating skills; and Student voice emerges leading to empowerment.  Importantly, agentic children turn into agentic adults!

Session 2: Intersection of Trauma & Equity: Activism & Action is Empowering

Why: Inequity in school can cause or worsen trauma.  Additionally, many classroom/school practices cause inequities for students who struggle with the impact of trauma.  Scholars emphasize that the structural inequality in schools seldom leads to contexts where students have agency (Donnor & Shockly, 2010).  Agency is not an isolated action where students exist in a vacuum, rather, agency is co-constructed in communities of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) as students adopt various identities in complex social situations and experiences.  Think of a typical learning space – what internalized identities are being adopted by marginalized populations?

Solution: Our focus here is to create spaces in which folks can adapt and heal, thereby strengthening resilience.  As Learning spaces adopt healing-informed practices and experiences that allow for students to share their voice, histories, cultural identities, experiences, languages, and interests, learning and change accelerates rapidly.   Racism and inequity are integral aspects of historic trauma and have intergenerational consequences. Our classrooms need to change our response patterns personally and systemically – using practices for healing-informed care.  Trauma is a lens, not a label. Healing -informed practices should fix learning spaces, not kids! True trauma-informed education is anti-racist and against all forms of oppression.  Building true resilience requires equitable learning learning spaces – Teaching marginalized groups to be resilient in the face of discrimination isn’t equity.  Ending discrimination is.

Participants can expect to acquire the knowledge, skills and dispositions to:

  • Establish common language of trauma-informed & equity
  • Build critical consciousness in students
  • Collect relevant data and its accompanying narrative (data is only numbers)
  • Understand & practice restorative practices rather than punitive practices
  • Consider distinctions of Equity – CRE; Social Justice Standards; Multicultural Education

Audience: All Grades PK-12 Educators
Presenter(s): Sharon McCarthy, TMI-ENVISION SEL Specialist/Lead Consultant, ENVISION President

Time: 2.5 Hours



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