Radical Pedagogy

Radical Pedagogy (2016)

Volume 13 Issue 2

ISSN: 1524-6345

Trigger Warnings: Compassion is Not Censorship

Rebecca Godderis

Community Health & Social and Environmental Justice

Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

E-mail: rgodderis@wlu.ca

Jennifer L. Root

Faculty of Social Work

Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

E-mail: jroot@wlu.ca


     The purpose of this paper is to highlight the pedagogical utility of trigger warnings in relation to fostering a culture of informed learning that creates an atmosphere of agency and accountability between educators and students, thus providing university instructors and administrators with an alternative framework to understand the value of such warnings. While supporting the use of trigger warnings as a pedagogical tool, we also aim to problematize the use of the phrase ‘trigger warning’ and question the value of adopting universal trigger warning policies.

     Keywords: trigger warning, censorship, academic freedom, compassion, culture of

                       informed learning