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Hope for the embattled language classroom: Pedagogies for wellbeing and trauma healing

Date created: 
Refugee and immigrant trauma
Critical language pedagogies
Contemplative pedagogies
Ethics of care
Buddhist psychology
Trauma interventions for the language classroom

Learning, as it is being increasingly recognized, is centrally predicated upon students’ wellbeing. Research findings indicate that in the instances of wounding and trauma, students’ capacity and ability to learn can be severely compromised. This understanding applies particularly to the immigrant students in the language classroom, many of whom are refugees bringing with them past experiences of privation, violence, wounding and trauma. Since teachers often find themselves wearing multiple hats, not only as an instructor, but also as a friend, philosopher, guide, confidante, and counselor to their refugee and immigrant learners, addressing those students’ trauma with compassion, and employing appropriate pedagogical practices to mitigate their suffering should be of great relevance and inform the teachers’ praxis in the classroom. This dissertation takes an interdisciplinary look at trauma from the vantage points of critical language theories, Buddhist psychology, neuroscience, and psychotherapy, and suggests pedagogies for wellbeing and trauma healing that utilize contemplative ways of education. The practical aim of this dissertation is to support teachers in addressing trauma in their classrooms.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Heesoon Bai
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.