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Seeking Wellness: Somatic Experiences Through Arts For Healing In Education

    Seeking wellness: Somatic experiences through arts for healing in education

    Session Title: Seeking wellness: Somatic experiences through arts for healing in education
    ​Moderator: Megan Adams, Associate Professor of Reading Education, Kennesaw State University
    ​Watch the session:

    Session description: The moderator will begin by describing to the audience the “why” of the presentation. Post COVID-19, all children in schools are dealing with post-traumatic stress. When combined with extant stressors, particularly for racially and socioeconomically marginalized children, there has never been a greater need for an understanding of developing wellness for teachers and children in schools. Building upon prior research, two different teams of panellists will describe studies based upon arts-based healing, somatic experience, and wellness. In the first panel, Dr Rodriguez and Ms Ramirez will describe a study involving children needing healing as part of their summer experience. In the second panel, Dr Jorrin and Dr Munson will describe a study of arts-based healing to relieve trauma. The first study describes the trauma experienced by children in a summer program and the lack of apparent emphasis on wellness in the art activities for children. The presentation will also describe how this work transformed the adults’ perceptions of somatic experience and the new emphasis on arts-based healing and somatic experiences now part of teacher education done by the faculty participants. The presentation will conclude with descriptions of a study underway with healing and wellness as the key pillars and a new theory of healing pedagogy emerging. The second study describes a healing arts space where art is done as a tool for healing as opposed to a product. Imagine Healing is a research initiative promoted by the Interactive Research Methods Lab, dedicated to sharing the powerful connection between healing, art and aesthetic experiences. We are currently working with our community on the development of a theoretical model and a practical tool based on somatic experiencing, that aims at empowering individuals (particularly youth) in creating their own healing stories. Imagine Healing reaches into the community, collaborating, getting stronger, and creating change heard around the world.

    Bio: Dr. Megan Adams is an Associate Professor of Reading Education and Co-Director of the Academy for Language and Literacy at Kennesaw State University (KSU). This is her ninth year in higher education and her 18th year as an educator. Dr Adams utilizes varied qualitative methodologies in her research and teaches qualitative research courses. She is currently serving as the Qualitative Methodologist in Residence in the Bagwell College of Education at KSU. Her research interests focus on inquiries into issues impacting marginalized communities, students, and teachers. Her most recent publications include an article on how critical incidents in a supplemental field experience impacts teacher candidates; an article on graduate student efficacy in a Capstone course; an article on how institutions of higher education respond to incidents regarding diversity, equity, and culture; and an article on culturally relevant field experiences. These articles are all rooted in critical theory and contribute to equity in education. Her interest in studying curriculum is rooted in these efforts for equity.