From Producing to Reducing Trauma: A Call for “Trauma-Informed” Research(ers) to Interrogate How Schools Harm Students

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American Educational Research Association


Although “trauma-informed education” has gained momentum across the United States in recent years, a question remains neglected by the research community: How can education research inform understandings of “trauma-informed” approaches when education itself is trauma-producing for many students? This article (1) explores limitations of traumainformed educational scholarship, particularly its reliance on individualized, biomedical understandings of trauma; (2) articulates theoretical reconceptualizations for subsequent research to account for historical trauma and ways schools and research inflict harm on students; and (3) calls for expansion of relational, participatory, and humanizing methodologies. Overall, we argue for a shift from research that focuses on “trauma-informed education” to scholarship that enacts a sociohistorical trauma-reducing framework to more effectively interrogate the intersections of trauma, schooling, and research.



trauma informed schools harm


Petrone, R., & Stanton, C. R. (2021). From producing to reducing trauma: A call for “trauma-informed” research (ers) to interrogate how schools harm students. Educational Researcher, 50(8), 537-545.
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