Classrooms as Healing Spaces
Keywords:intersectional, disability studies, race and gender, social justice, trauma, collective trauma, teacher identity
Classrooms are at the nexus of societal trauma and systemic interlocking oppressions. Fluency with trauma-informed practices is well-recognized as imperative for teachers, however, the connections of trauma to interlocking oppressions is less acknowledged. This paper uses a Disability Critical Race Theory (DisCrit) framework to interrogate discursive entanglements of trauma with other identity markers and the ways in which these have historical and material implications that harm students. This paper explores the way that trauma as a construct is not free from becoming entangled with the systemic impacts of racism and ableism and interrogates some of the assumptions that underpin such use. This paper situates the teacher’s role historically, illustrating how knowledge of the social construction of race, disability, and trauma affects classroom structures, teacher identity, and pedagogical decisions towards creating conditions for healing.