Beyond the Buzzword: Deepening Knowledge & Practice of Trauma-Informed Education, Shevrin Venet, Spring 2020

Course Number:  EDU 5515 C21
Instructor: Alex Shevrin Venet
Location: Online using Canvas and Zoom Videoconferencing
Dates and Times:

February 3- April 3, 2020 online and asynchronous (9 weeks). Three (3) synchronous online meetings via Zoom on February 3, March 2, and March 23 (each one from 7:00-8:30pm)

Credits: 3 graduate credits
Tuition: $975

Course Description

In this course, we’ll explore trauma-informed education “beyond the buzzword.” We’ll critically look at how trauma-informed practice intersects with: identity, equity, policy, school culture, and more. We will use a combination of discussion, critical analysis activities, and action-research within our school settings. Teachers will leave the course with a deepened understanding of trauma-informed practices and action steps for improving their own practice. A focus of the course will be the intersection between “challenging students”/classroom behavior and trauma-informed practice.

Audience: (Who is the audience for this course? I.e.: “All educators” OR “K-6 math teachers”): All educators. It is recommended that teachers who take this course have a “101” level knowledge of trauma-informed education, whether that be from a workshop, conference session, or professional development. 

Course Goals:

To deepen and complicate our understanding of the trauma-informed education movement.

To advance our individual and communal teaching practice in support of trauma-affected students.

To enhance the equity focus of our trauma-informed efforts.

Course Objectives:

Participants will:

  • Reflect on their own teaching practice through a trauma-informed lens
  • Understand issues and trends in the broader educational conversation on trauma
  • Describe the intersection between trauma and identity in the context of schools
  • Be able to evaluate systemic barriers to trauma-informed practice, especially in the area of behavior management/disciplinary practices
  • Create a plan for action/advocacy in their communities

Course Expectations:

Assignments: Weekly assignments will include reading response, reflective practice, group discussions, and text analysis. Students can expect a lot of reading each week and are encouraged to begin reading either/both of our books before the start of the course.


Intersections project: students will explore the intersection of trauma and identity through this project. Students will choose an element of identity (such as gender, race, socio-economic status, or religion) and research the intersections between that aspect and trauma.

Action project: students will complete an action plan connected to policy, advocacy, or community supports within their setting. This project will help students to think beyond the classroom-level intervention

Required Texts

Required Readings/Texts: (required texts not included in cost of course)

Troublemakers by Carla Shalaby

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz (2017 edition).*

*Note for students: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog can be challenging to read due to its detailed descriptions of child abuse and neglect. Part of our course will be paying attention to our emotional response to this text and practicing self-care.

For additional course information

Alex Shevrin

(802) 489-6739

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!