ERIC Number: EJ1018922
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Listening to the Speaking Wound: A Trauma Studies Perspective on Student Positioning in Schools
Dutro, Elizabeth; Bien, Andrea C.
American Educational Research Journal, v51 n1 p7-35 Feb 2014
This article discusses theoretical lenses drawn from scholars in the interdisciplinary field of trauma studies to consider students' positioning in relation to emotional-cognitive, private-public dichotomies that permeate normative notions of what can and should count as successful engagement with school. Specifically, we explicate Caruth's metaphor of the speaking wound, in conversation with other trauma studies scholarship, to consider the representations of lived experiences carried into classrooms and the consequences of interpreting and representing students' lives. To provide context for our conceptual argument, we discuss qualitative data of two students' experiences across a school year. We argue that trauma theory illuminates two overlapping, yet distinguishable, ways trauma can be productively conceptualized in schools and marshaled as a context for analyzing structural inequities: first, to consider the trauma individuals carry into classrooms as a potential source for deepening students' connections to school; second, to recognize how some students' positioning within the institution of public schooling in the United States constitutes a trauma that must be heard and proactively addressed. In both conceptualizations, we argue for inserting trauma theory into conversations about the moral and pedagogical imperative to work toward increased equity in schools and classrooms.
Descriptors: Trauma, Learner Engagement, Figurative Language, Student Experience, Public Education, Equal Education, Student Needs, Social Theories, Feminism, Social Justice, At Risk Students, Disadvantaged Youth, Coping, Student Characteristics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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