I find it very energizing to cross over into a completely different field of research that also looks at some of the same problems I have looked at when researching social studies curriculum. A recurring theme in our conversations is “how do we process trauma"? Mainly, how do we process collective trauma, because the worst patterns of human behavior create a lot of trauma in the world.

My experiences teaching about the Middle East have taught me to respect emotions, but not to invite them into the learning space. That is for therapy. At the same time, a good teacher must be ready to take on potentially upsetting topics - many of those connect in some way to traumatic histories (Britzman, 1998).

So, I expect that upcoming blog posts will relate to - not only trauma - but, empathy, in-group bias (and resulting hatred of “the other"), and many more socially-related subjects. Of course, in the biological research world, as opposed to the humanities-and-social-sciences world that I come from, that would be called “human-behavior-related" subjects. There is a highly politicized divide - perhaps one could even call it a schism - between those two worlds, but I intend to walk that line the best I can. Wish me luck!!

Britzman, D. (1998). Lost Subjects, Contested Object: Toward a Psychoanalytic Inquiry of Learning. New York: State.