Facilitating Trauma-Informed Pedagogy


  • Nichole Parker RN BN




trauma AND learning, pedagogy AND trauma, andragogy AND trauma, trauma AND self-care, learning OR educational AND theory OR philosophy, trauma AND strategies


Mental health issues are increasing globally, affecting health outcomes and health care resources. Understanding the andragogical implications for adult learners who are experiencing mental illness, including trauma-related mental illness, is vital for nurses, educators, and community support services. Experiencing abuse can cause mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. In the context of this article, a trauma survivor is someone who has been the victim of abuse. Trauma survivors can be hard to identify, reach, connect with, and have difficulty reaching specific learning outcomes. This translates into poorer health outcomes within this vulnerable group as trauma survivors may not be able or ready to implement self-care efforts. Trauma also affects how people learn. Because of this, trauma survivors require focused teaching strategies that will support their growth, recovery, development, and integration into the community. Adult educators must hone their ethical pedagogical responsibility in a way that reflects trauma-informed care when providing care for a diverse student population. Understanding how these survivors learn will also help educators and healthcare providers understand the pedagogical philosophies, approaches, and strategies best suited to the andragogy of adult learners who have experienced trauma. To contribute to advancing pedagogical epistemology, the purpose of this literature review is to discuss how learning occurs in adult trauma survivors, and asks: What pedagogical philosophies and approaches are beneficial to understanding and best facilitating the andragogy of adult learners who have experienced trauma? This enhanced understanding leads to stronger advocacy for inclusive and trauma-informed teaching and learning environments.