Exploring Trauma Responsive Educational Practices in a Museum
Trauma infiltrates all of society – including museums. For guests, the trauma may lie in the context of the visit or what they bring with them from their everyday lives. Staff can develop trauma through daily interaction with stressful content or secondary trauma through interaction with traumatized guests. During the COVID19 pandemic, trauma also developed from workplace issues regarding personal health safety and job security. This is a case study about how one museum educated itself about the presence and impact of trauma through exploration of a framework developed by the Trauma Responsive Educational Practices (TREP) Project. We present results of a staff-wide evaluation around initial implementation of the framework. Results show staff found the framework to be relevant and useful, but they need more support adapting it to the unique environment of museums. It also triggered memories of personal trauma in some staff, requiring a rethinking about how to implement it.