Risky teaching: developing a trauma-informed pedagogy for higher education

Neil Harrison*, Jacqueline Burke, Ivan Clarke

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper presents the results of a three-year study of the impacts of teaching about the experiences of trauma on students studying to become teachers. The project’s overarching objective is to develop an effective trauma-informed pedagogy that can support students who learn about the experiences of the ‘Stolen Generations’, the Holocaust, wars, and genocide. Following a presentation from a member of the Stolen Generations, students reported strong emotional impacts, indicating heightened arousal and defensive dissociation. Results indicated that effective teaching about the experiences of trauma must be accompanied by management processes that will mitigate the potential detrimental emotional impacts on such learning. We conclude that the reflexive power of narrative can implicate the student in her or his own life, as well as in the lives of others. Of critical importance is a recognition that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous lives are bound to one another in contemporary Australia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages15
    JournalTeaching in Higher Education
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jun 2020


    • trauma-informed pedagogy
    • vicarious trauma
    • vicarious trauma management
    • reflexivity
    • narrative


    Dive into the research topics of 'Risky teaching: developing a trauma-informed pedagogy for higher education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this