Pedagogo S2-E3 Trauma-Informed Pedagogy: The Role of Assessment in Deep Insights and Learning


There’s little doubt as to the value assessment can bring to the classroom. But what if we are underutilizing assessments and under-appreciating the areas where they can lead to insights? Tune in today to hear Dr. Valentina Iturbe-LaGrave, Director of Inclusive Teaching Practices at the University of Denver, talk about sources of trauma in our students’ lives; how the chemistry of the traumatized brain interrupts deep learning; and how low-stakes, alternative assessments facilitate deep, transformative learning, and are a first step toward ensuring our students are supported in a way that acknowledges trauma. Dr. Iturbe-LaGrave and Dr. Case discuss the nature of trauma-informed pedagogy and how the insights gleaned from low-stakes assessments can translate to large gains in traditional assessments. Tune in to learn what steps you can take to create a classroom of inclusive excellence.

Show Notes and Resources:
“This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action and Do the Work”’, Tiffany Jewell and Aurelia Durand
Dr. Iturbe-LaGrave mentions conducting a critical incident questionnaire which comes from the book “Discussion as a Way of Teaching: Tools and Techniques for Democratic Classrooms” by Brookfield and Preskill
Dr. Iturbe-LaGrave mentions including a basic needs security statement in our syllabi. A modified example of UVA’s Center for Teaching Excellence Basis Needs Security Statement is provided here, but many more examples can be found via an internet search. “Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live and believes this may affect their performance in the course is urged to contact the for support. Furthermore, please notify the professor if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable them to provide any resources that they may possess.”
For more information about responding to trauma in the classroom, read Dr. Iturbe-LaGrave’s article of the same name here:
For transcripts, show resources, and other Pedagogo episodes, visit