The studio session was very interesting. Focusing on relevant content, the session is an example of “teaching in context” which definitely made me focus and actually get the message across seamlessly.
The main objective of the sessions are:
1. Experience what happens in the brain when we experience chronic negative stress
- There is a fine line which makes stress productive. Humans deal with stress by activating their fight and flight system to combat this stress and return to normal ranges thereafter. Having too much negative stress results in the breakdown in the capacity to regulate internal stresses.
- The brain prioritizes learning over stress when you are overwhelmed by stress. Intervention from educators is needed to re-establish balance.
- Based on neuroscience research, brain function much more effectively when the brain is “acrobatic”.
All stakeholders need to have an awareness of the commonality of trauma and the impact it has on students to ensure they are engaged and learn properly. Their needs to be a safe environment that cultivates connectedness to empower and allow students to recover.
2. Consider the motion of integration with respect to emotional and mental health.
- Help develop the student to allow him to understand “Who I am”, How do I connect How do I relate and that there is relation between the student, the teacher, the knowledge, and the world.
- Adversities and toxic stresses can be reversed.
- In order to cultivate connections, there needs to be a sense of community cultivation and identity meaning.
What does it mean teaching in context?
There needs to be teaching in context. If we teach in isolation and the brain is under a lot of stress, it is hard to see the connection…It is important for the student to see themselves in the content being taught. You can bring any aspect relative to their culture which can make them feel comfortable and the content relevant which is going to make the students more receptive to the process.
3. Learn about the principles and practical examples of trauma informed approaches
Upon reflecting on the session, it was very informative to understand the human response upon being subjected to stress. On this note, the continuous stress from online learning is critical and continues to affect my performance. It made me realize that nothing is more important than your mental wellbeing. I have now started to focus upon being productive, not in the sense of working hard 24/7 but rather deliberately having time to work, exercise, pray, socialize, and sleep. The instilled notion that only by hustling and stressing yourself is the key to success must be challenged. Educators must understand that there is a big difference between challenging students academically and straight out cramming them with work. They need to focus on explaining concepts clearly and teaching in context; especially in engineering classes. From my perspective, seeing real life applications of the theory is essential to understanding the concept. Many professors explain extremely technical content or complex equations describing real life phenomenon without the use of visual aids which makes it extremely difficult to understand.
In conclusion, I truly enjoyed the content with is practical examples. Mays is obviously a veteran in education and shares a lot of similar views with Dr. Maha Bali. Pioneering the education sector, I hope they both challenge the status quo in their respective institutions and are able to revolutionize trauma informed pedagogy to best accommodate the pandemic.