Trauma-informed Teaching

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Trauma-informed Teaching

Learn about the neuroscience of toxic stress and how to increase engagement, connection, and healing in the classroom.

October 26, 2021 at 3:00 pm 4:00 pm

In this talk, led by Dr. Mays Imad, we will consider the notion of psychological trauma — why it happens and how it impacts our body and brain. 

Specifically, we will examine: 

  • the principles and practical examples of trauma-informed approaches and reflect on the connections between trauma-informed education, healing, and restorative justice;
  • the connections between stress and trauma and how stress can become traumatic when not managed; and
  • the neuroscience of traumatic stress and its impact on our ability to engage, connect, and learn. 

This virtual presentation will be followed by a live audience Q&A and is open to all members of teaching and learning community. We invite you to join the discussion as we reflect on the following key questions:

(1) How are we welcoming our students and colleagues back into our institutions and classrooms this fall and beyond? 

(2) As educators, what can we do to help support students’ mental health and ameliorate their exhaustion and distress, while at the same time, intentionally engaging in self-care?

Please register to receive your Zoom link.

This event is hosted by the MIT Teaching + Learning Lab with the support of Student Support and Wellbeing (MIT Division of Student Life) and MindHandHeart.

Guest Speaker

Mays Imad, Ph.D.

Mays Imad received her undergraduate training from the University of Michigan–Dearborn where she studied philosophy. She received her doctoral degree in Cellular & Clinical Neurobiology from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. She then completed a National Institute of Health-Funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona in the Department of Neuroscience. She joined the department of life & physical sciences at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona as an adjunct faculty member in 2009 and later as a full-time faculty member in 2013. During her tenure at Pima, she taught Physiology, Pathophysiology, Genetics, Biotechnology, and Biomedical ethics. She also founded Pima’s Teaching and Learning Center (TLC). 

Mays is a Gardner Institute Fellow and an AAC&U Senior Fellow within the Office of Undergraduate STEM Education. Dr. Imad’s research focuses on stress, self-awareness, advocacy, and classroom community, and how these impact student learning and success. Through her teaching and research she seeks to provide her students with transformative opportunities that are grounded in the aesthetics of learning, truth-seeking, justice, and self-realization. 

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Imad works with faculty members across disciplines at her own institution and across the country to promote inclusive, equitable, and contextual education–all rooted in the latest research on the neurobiology of learning. A nationally-recognized expert on trauma-informed teaching and learning, she passionately advocates for institutions to make mental health a top priority and to systematically support the education of the whole student.