From turning away to listening in: instruction to facilitate civic dialogue through regional literature
Hall, Nicole JoAnna
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The purpose of this paper is to discuss how trauma-reducing student-centered instruction (TR-SCI) offers a solution to the cycle of traumatizing and retraumatizing student experiences within classroom environments. TR-SCI is a way to center the student experience and focuses on reducing trauma inducing practices in the classroom. I discuss what the classroom experience might entail then I explore why TR-SCI might allow for environments of trust and reciprocity which is needed to create civic dialogue. Civic dialogue consists of conversations built upon reciprocity and respect, while listening across conflict toward understanding differences. Civic dialogue provides opportunity for students to step outside echo chambers and has the potential to widen students' view of the experiences of others. Critically exploring regionally relevant literature is a way to begin civic dialogue and has potential for students to find connections and disconnections that are situated within the context of their regional experiences. I interject my own experiences as a mother, educator, student, community member, and researcher to explore why I think we need trauma-reducing classrooms that engage in civic dialogue by exemplifying, through writing and discussion, an attempt to connect personal and regional experience with author Ivan Doig's text and archives. I have written a series of letters to Ivan called 'Dear Ivan' that exemplify my work to build connection with the author and archives. My hope is that discussions on TR-SCI, civic dialogue through regional literature, and my explorations with connecting to Ivan help to facilitate further conversations in these fields. I see the connections with these concepts and methods as potential for teacher education workshops and further qualitative research studies in classroom environments. It is not my purpose here to propose a solution but simply to begin dialogue toward relatable ways to build equity and inclusion within the classroom.