Writing as a tool for healing : exploring preservice teachers’ writing related to trauma and healing

dc.contributor.advisorKim, Grace MyHyun
dc.contributor.committeeMemberFlores, Tracey T
dc.contributor.committeeMemberGainer, Jesse S
dc.contributor.committeeMemberSkerrett, Allison
dc.creatorAdair, Laura Van Dike
dc.date.accessioned2023-08-04T17:20:04Z
dc.date.available2023-08-04T17:20:04Z
dc.date.created2023-05
dc.date.issued2023-04-21
dc.date.submittedMay 2023
dc.date.updated2023-08-04T17:20:05Z
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this study was to better understand how writing experiences related to trauma and healing shaped preservice teachers’ identities and understandings of trauma in addition to informing their writing pedagogies. Building on Dutro’s (2019) notions of trauma-centered writing and critical witnessing practices, I used a multiple case studies design to study how six preservice teachers engaged in writing related to trauma and healing within an Adolescent Literacy course. In addition to written artifact, my data included interviews and class Zoom recordings. To frame my exploration of preservice teachers’ experiences writing, sharing, and/or witnessing trauma and healing-centered writing and how they conceptualized these experiences in relation to their own teaching, I drew on Holland, Lachicotte, Skinner, and Cain’s (2001) “figured worlds,” Wissman and Wiseman’s (2011) “narrative control,” and Dutro’s (2019) “critical witnessing.” The following research questions guided this study: (1) How do writing experiences related to trauma and healing shape preservice teachers’ personal identity development? (2) How do writing experiences related to trauma and healing shape preservice teachers’ understanding of traumatic experiences? (3) How do writing experiences related to trauma and healing inform preservice teachers’ writing pedagogies? The data indicated that writing related to trauma and healing increased agency, empathy, and authenticity among both writers and witnesses. Whereas trauma was a disruptive experience (LaCapra, 2001) that fractured and dysregulated the self (Camangian, 2010; Mutch & Latai, 2019), the act of putting words to their experiences moved preservice teachers towards whole-person integration (MacCurdy, 2007), authentic self-representation (Bradshaw, 2005; Brown, 2010, 2015), and empathetic unsettlement (LaCapra, 2001). Data also showed that through processes of naming, organizing, restorying, and sharing traumatic experiences, healing was possible. Preservice teachers gained control over their traumatic memories, a process that facilitated both individual and collective healing. These open-ended writing invitations and critical witnessing postures created sacred truth spaces (San Pedro, 2017) that preservice teachers planned to emulate in their own writing pedagogies. Overall, this study contributes to understandings of humanizing and healing literacy experiences within teacher education and the potential for these experiences to inform preservice teachers’ work in classroom settings.
dc.description.departmentCurriculum and Instruction
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2152/120745
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.26153/tsw/47578
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectTrauma
dc.subjectHealing
dc.subjectWriting
dc.subjectWriting pedagogy
dc.subjectPreservice teachers
dc.titleWriting as a tool for healing : exploring preservice teachers’ writing related to trauma and healing
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.materialtext
thesis.degree.departmentCurriculum and Instruction
thesis.degree.disciplineCurriculum and Instruction
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy

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