SITE Course 2 (Elective)

Engaging Somatic Intelligence in the Classroom

Learning is a mind-body experience, yet bodies are largely undervalued in the classrooms of 21st c. United States. The mind/body split of the Western world continues to inform educational practice, placing highest value on the “head brain,” while disconnecting learners from the intelligence and wisdom of their “heart brain” and “gut brain” and not allowing enough motion to keep the body healthy and the brains alert.


In this course, we will ask: How can tuning into the intelligence and wisdom of the body transform our selves, our classrooms and our society? How do we center the body in a trauma-sensitive way?


Through a series of experiential explorations –in mindfulness, movement, physiology, improvisation, writing, and storytelling–we will orient ourselves to kinesthetic awareness and learning. Participants will emerge from the class with a set of tools to understand and navigate our bodies and literally move towards greater creativity and resilience in our learning environments, both social and academic.


The course will begin with a two-day intensive, followed by every other week learning labs. Throughout the course, learners will develop a portfolio to demonstrate their learning (including a work of personal creative expression and a classroom/curricular project that “centers the body in the classroom”) and participate in an online forum (on the off-weeks from labs) in which extra readings/course material and mini-explorations performed outside of class will be shared and discussed.


Instructor: Tracy Penfield, SafeArt Founding Director


Focus Participants: Classroom Educators at any level


SITE Courses:

  1. Trauma-informed Education: Soma and Psyche (core course for certificate program)
  2. Engaging Somatic Intelligence in the Classroom (elective)
  3. Courage to Self-Care (core course)
  4. Applied Healing Arts – feeding the creative spirit within (elective)
  5. Survey of SafeArt Healing Arts Tools, i.e. PLAY! (core course)
  6. Examining Socio-Cultural, Socio-Political and Systemic Trauma (elective)