Employing Self-Study Research to Confront Childhood Sexual Abuse and Its Consequences for Self, Others, and Communities

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Book Chapter

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Publication Title

International Handbook of Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices


This chapter discusses the, as yet largely unrealized, potential of self-study research to demystify the taboo of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), as well as other forms of exploitation and abuse. We share how we each have endeavored to include instruction about CSA in our work with preservice teachers and to study the implications of our instruction for ourselves and students. Our work is situated within the tenets of social justice and advocacy that have long traditions in self-study. Across our careers as teacher educators, we have consciously worked to hold ourselves to ideals of social justice. We see our focus on CSA as an attempt to confront an injustice that has historically been silenced but has devastating consequences for individuals, families, and communities across all socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, races, and cultures. Likewise, we strive to prepare teachers who will advocate for students who have experienced CSA or other trauma. While this chapter focuses primarily on our efforts to teach about and study our practice surrounding CSA, it has the potential to inform teaching and scholarship in teacher education dedicated to many other difficult/taboo topics (i.e., mental health, homelessness, suicide).

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