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  • Vive Griffith

The Classroom as a Place of Healing

How do we create safe and welcoming spaces for those who may have felt estranged from the classroom? How do we design educational environments that are ones of healing as well as ones of learning? In 25 years of working with adult and marginalized students, Clemente educators have developed approaches and practices that welcome students of all backgrounds and support their success inside the classroom and beyond it. This informational video, streamable on YouTube, aims to share these experiences with a broader audience.

Trauma to Recovery Through the Humanities was first offered at a conference of the American Association of Colleges and Universities in February 2021. Dr. Mark Santow, Academic Director of the Providence Clemente Veterans' Initiative (CVI) and professor of history at UMass-Dartmouth, presented a six-minute Pecha Kucha, followed by a conversation with educators from Providence CVI and Antioch University Seattle. They explored where Clemente's classroom practices intersect with trauma-informed pedagogy and what that looks like in a classroom curriculum.

This video expands on that conversation and offers techniques, assignments, and frank assessments from those who have extensive experience working with underserved student populations, including veterans. We believe these lessons will be valuable to other Clemente Courses as well as anyone working with veterans or marginalized groups in higher education. And after more than a year of living through a global pandemic that turned all of our lives upside down, understanding how to effectively respond to trauma in the classroom will arguably be important to all educators.

This course provides a safe space for difficult, thought-provoking conversations. The literary resources put language to the complex feelings veterans have, and have provided explanations of those feelings. --- Providence CVI graduate

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