The Promise of the Healing-Centered Paradigm in Education

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Drawing on extensive doctoral research and professional practice, this lecture invites participants into an exploration of how practitioners and scholars have deliberately integrated the notion of healing into K-12 curricula and professional education. The evolution of restorative justice, social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and trauma-informed teaching reveals a kind of momentum that situates the emergence of the restorative and healing-centered paradigm in educational discourse, practice and research. With the many challenges and crises unfolding before us–ecological disequilibrium, political polarization, socio-economic inequality and health disparities–people who are interested in educating others are challenged with how to take care of themselves, those who they teach and the communities within which they work. Also, the COVID-19 global pandemic has exacerbated the preexisting conditions that communities, especially those who are most vulnerable, have to contend with. This lecture provides a foundation for thinking, researching and integrating healing-centered education into one’s professional teaching philosophy and practice.

…But Now I See: Using the Lens of Racial Literacy to Understand Racial Trauma and Promote Justice and Healing

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Despite its tragic arc, the so-called “double pandemic” has served as an awakening to the realities of racial injustice across a number of systems. On one front, the pandemic of COVID-19 disproportionately impacted Black adults and youth, both physically and psychologically. Meanwhile, we have borne witness to another pandemic, dating back to 1619, which has been a reminder that racism is “alive and sick”. Justice and healing in the face of the insidiousness of racism in its myriad forms require recognizing how it expresses across the lifespan. In this presentation, I will discuss racial literacy as a tool for recognizing racial trauma across a number of systems and life stages. Collectively, we will reflect on how racial seeing and racial noticing are important elements in our mission towards social justice.

Child and Family Well-Being As We Emerge From COVID-19: A Multi-Disciplinary Conversation About How to Support Children and Families After the Pandemic

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A conversation with experts from the Evans School of Public Policy, School of Medicine, College of Education, and the Department of Psychology about how children and families are doing currently in the (aftermath or waning days) of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what is needed going forward to address the impact of the pandemic on children’s health, social-emotional well-being, and academic outcomes.

The Roots of Helping, Sharing, and Caring

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How do human beings become caring beings? This presentation offers answers from research with young children, whose sensitivity to other people’s feelings increasingly drives their helpful assistance even as their understanding of ingroup-outgroup discrimination is growing. We also consider the social experiences that influence the tension between social exclusion and shared understanding in early childhood.

“Reach out, I’ll be there”: Awakening Resilience Across Communities

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Recent discoveries from developmental neurobiology, child development, and trauma science had shown that harsh and unresponsive caregiving during early childhood resulted in disrupted stress regulation systems in the developing brain. In addition, stressful family and community environments had been linked to specific pre-academic, social and health challenges in preschoolers. In response to these findings, new approaches to child abuse prevention started to focus on the need to mitigate young children’s adversities through parent education. The science of resilience has effectively provided the blueprints for a “behavioral therapeutic vaccine” that could buffer the negative impacts of early childhood adversity.