Here are a list of great articles connected to TRUST in the classroom:


Name of Article

Creating Urban Communities Worthy of Trust (Catherine D. Ennis & M. Terri McCauley)
This article is based on the observations of a four-month study of 18 teachers and their classes in urban high schools in the US. The article identifies challenges that arise in the process of building trust. Based on observations and research from the study, the article provides strategies that teachers are using to encourage challenging students to join the community of trust in the classroom.

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1994), pp.63-76. "Deciding to Trust, Coming to Believe."RICHARD HOLTON, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
This article looks at trust as a philosophical theory but it uses many examples from the drama classroom to back up the point of view of the author. The article starts by using the traditional blindfold trust game you see in my drama classrooms. It then goes onto discuss the difference between trust and reliance in our society. The article critically examines the difference between reliance and trust and how human beings disguise the use of one for the other. It discusses how its not the use of the blindfold that helps a drama class create trust, but instead the ability for the instructor or teacher to actively trust the students and then the cycle of trust begins. If that relationship is not present, students “rely” on the teacher for guidance not “trust the teacher”. Shyness, fear, anger each limits our ability to fully trust another individual. In the drama classroom those limitations are the first things the teacher/instructor tries to get rid of through a series of trust activities.

Helen Nicholson (2002): “The Politics of Trust: Drama education and the ethic of care”, Research in Drama Education, 7:1, 81 - 91.
In this article, Nicholson describes issues surrounding trust, such as generalization of trust activities and how cultural values can impact trust. She addresses various theories and theorists around trust, as well as discussing the limits of trust and implementation of trust theory into practice. She addresses the fact that trust is often not based in firm, theoretical basis and is too often practised in general terms, without understanding the key elements of creating trusting relationships. Her thesis is: “in drama education, a critical understanding of scope and limits of trust relies not on sentiment alone, but on the visible enactment of trust as a performative act.” (84).

Rafe Esquith’s “Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire” reminds us of everything we learned as a student. As a student, when I felt safe and respected by the adults in charge, I was able to blossom as a student. It's not an activity itself that establishes trust, but rather the manner and authenticity in which it is done, that creates that environment. In his article “Build Trust, Banish Fear,” the author highlights for us what happens when we replace fear with trust in the classroom. Many teachers have tried to establish an element of fear so that students don’t “step out of line.” Like Esquith, many begin to realize that those quiet classrooms where students aim to please are not the most productive and innovative classrooms that we educators strive for. That environment created through drama activities pays off in all facets of the classroom. Broken trust is irreversible according to Esquith. Using the trust activity of catching your falling partner who is falling backwards, he asks us to imagine how we’d feel if we were not caught. However, many times it was done successfully, would not matter if on the following occasion, the person was not caught. The trust is gone.

This article looks at how the character of a teacher plays a central role in trying to establish trust with students. We may have all of the games and strategies at our finger tips, but if we don't "walk the talk", then all of that work is useless. The author goes on to explain the four elements of trust: honesty, fairness, consistency and humour. These elements need to be present to create strong relationships and community.

The importance of setting up an inclusive and safe community in your classroom that focuses on trust is integral. The focus in this article is social studies, however, the points raised and shared are transferable to any context. The author shares 19 strategies to think about and include with our students. Without a safe, caring and trusting environment, our lessons and curriculum cannot thrive. When we build trust, we are building community. When a strong sense of community is felt, by all members, than students (and teachers) feel they can take risks and positively grow. Sanchez describes how we, as teachers, need to share and be vulnerable as well. We need to look at developing "authentic, engaging and pertinent lessons" and relating topics to communities outside of the classroom, locally and globally. It also connects well to Growing Success and the work around formative assessment. A trusting community provides feedback and sharing student work on the walls. It represents those within and connects to those on the outside.