The normal school calendar during the COVID-19 pandemic was dramatically altered as schools were closed with many adopting online learning programs. As schools reopened and worked to transition learners back into the classroom, teachers and learners faced numerous challenges including adapting to the new ways of interacting and learning. Many learners reported back to school bearing the effects of pandemic-related depression, anxiety and stress. The COVID-19 pandemic was indeed a period of atypical and unprecedented events. As schools struggle to return to normalcy, COVID-19 disease still lingers and the impact of pandemic-related trauma is still alive. Many learners have fallen behind socially and academically, with a significant number still experiencing pandemic-related trauma. The pandemic disproportionately impacted racial-ethnic minority communities in the United States. Among the most affected are university students from these communities. Learning loss, and the loss of loved ones and/or financial stability due to COVID-19 increased the risks of trauma in this group. Trauma-informed education approaches to teaching and learning have in the recent past become a subject of interest among researchers and practitioners in the field of education and humanities. However, there is a gap between theory and practice as there is an apparent lack of understanding among instructors on the role of this practice. This qualitative research will use focus groups and interviews to explore the role of trauma-focused teaching and learning in building university students’ resilience. Participants will include instructors and students from the African American and Hispanic communities drawn from a public research university in Texas.
Suzan Yesil, Texas Tech University, United States