Author Archive

Join AACTE Webinar on Integrating LGBTQIA+ Identities in Teacher Ed Curriculum

Queering the Curriculum: Advocating for and Affirming LGBTQIA+ Identities in the Teacher Education Curriculum in Challenging Times is a webinar intended for faculty and staff who are preparing teacher education students to work with all students, with a special emphasis on important curricular considerations for LGBTQIA+ candidates, cooperating teachers, and K-12 students and families. Join nationally recognized experts as they discuss how recent legislation that targets LGBTQIA+ identities has the potential to shape teacher education and how teacher educators can respond via curriculum and instructional decision-making.

I started teaching high school in 2001 at a large public high school in New York City, highly regarded for its theater and arts programs. Two-thirds of the students identified as female and one-third identified as male; several students were openly gay. It was a rare and different environment for the time; though there was growing recognition and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community we were not yet at a moment where, when surveyed, 20% of the generation that I taught identified as LGBTQ+.

Teaching in New York City, and this particular school, allowed me opportunities to integrate LGBTQ+ history in ways that I might not have felt safe doing in other schools. Early in my career, I saw the way students’ faces lit up when they felt represented in the curriculum. Conversely, I also learned how to address and navigate homophobic comments that students made in class, often based on preconceived ideas they learned outside of school. Neither my colleagues nor the administration weighed in on what I should or shouldn’t teach. It seemed right and accurate to me to teach LGBTQ+ history, so I did. It was only later, as a doctoral student, that I started to understand the level of support necessary to effectively and meaningfully bring this history into our classrooms.

Representation Matters: The Necessity of LGBTQ+ Content in Schools

GLSEN’s 2019 National School Climate Survey (N=16,636)the most recent for which results are available—provides an alarming overview of the state of LGBTQ+ inclusive education. According to GLSEN, only 16.2% of participants reported engaging with positive representations of LGBTQ+ content, and fewer than 20% stated that LGBTQ+ topics appeared in their textbooks and curricular resources.