I've been studying what trauma-informed literacy practices (TILPs- I just made that acronym up) look like in literacy classrooms and in the research literature right now. I'm also investigating how TILPs in education might look in the future. I've observed teachers through social media and direct conversations and am combing the literature, both past and current. What I'm seeing includes: trauma-informed book choices and practices of testimony and witness; journaling; attention to privacy and boundaries; increased and improved racial and cultural inclusion; and a wider definition of what counts as literacy. To clarify, the wider definition of literacy includes both multimodality and what counts as appropriate subjects of reading, writing, and discussion in schools.
Many of you are already incorporating trauma-informed practices with grace and sensitivity into your literacy instruction. Want to know what I'm seeing out there that aligns TIPs with literacy instruction? Keep reading for the first of two posts briefly outlining what TILPs are happening right now! Also, stay tuned for subsequent posts going deeper into each practice with external references and tools.
This first of two posts outlines some foundational descriptions of three ways literacy educators are incorporating trauma-informed practices in their classrooms. These include book choice/bibliotherapy, defining the role of the teacher, and the use of journaling. Stay tuned for the second post describing how teachers are attending to boundaries and privacy, the recognition of race-based traumas in traditional literacy education, and expanding what counts (including related to multimodality and what students are allowed to share).
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My name is Erin E. Silcox. I'm working on my Ph.D. in Literacy Education, focusing on the intersection of trauma and literacy. I want to deepen our base of knowledge about trauma-informed practices in schools and help teachers apply findings right now.