Proposal Title

Helping Students Understand the "T" and "Q" in LGBTQ

Location

Moody

Proposal Track

Practice Report

Session Format

Presentation

Abstract

The last decade in the United States has seen a major shift in public acceptance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. While there are still pockets of society that condemn non-heterosexual orientations, by and large, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are today enjoying far wider legal and social acceptance than they did only fifteen years ago. This is reflected in our college classroom in the GGC School of Education, where we no longer have to convince our pre-service teachers that they must be sensitive to the rights and needs of their lesbian, gay, and bisexual students. Rather, our pre-service teachers easily accept that they will have non-heterosexual students, and they are eager to learn how to create safe spaces for them. However, our students seem less accepting--or at least more confused--by the specter of teaching transgender or queer students. Not only are pre-service teachers hazy on what these terms mean, but they struggle to understand or even accept how they are related to gay and lesbian rights. They are unsure what being transgender or queer means for their students, and they struggle to envision how they may help such students feel valued and accepted. Indeed, it is even hard for us, as professors, to formulate effective ways to teach our students about the challenges of working with transgender and queer students, given that the issue exploded so quickly into the public consciousness only two years ago.

This practice report presentation will share both the challenges we have faced as professors and some of the solutions that we have uncovered in helping our pre-service teachers become more empathic toward transgendered and queer students.

Keywords

transgender, teacher education, LGBTQ

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Oct 7th, 9:00 AM Oct 7th, 10:15 AM

Helping Students Understand the "T" and "Q" in LGBTQ

Moody

The last decade in the United States has seen a major shift in public acceptance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. While there are still pockets of society that condemn non-heterosexual orientations, by and large, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are today enjoying far wider legal and social acceptance than they did only fifteen years ago. This is reflected in our college classroom in the GGC School of Education, where we no longer have to convince our pre-service teachers that they must be sensitive to the rights and needs of their lesbian, gay, and bisexual students. Rather, our pre-service teachers easily accept that they will have non-heterosexual students, and they are eager to learn how to create safe spaces for them. However, our students seem less accepting--or at least more confused--by the specter of teaching transgender or queer students. Not only are pre-service teachers hazy on what these terms mean, but they struggle to understand or even accept how they are related to gay and lesbian rights. They are unsure what being transgender or queer means for their students, and they struggle to envision how they may help such students feel valued and accepted. Indeed, it is even hard for us, as professors, to formulate effective ways to teach our students about the challenges of working with transgender and queer students, given that the issue exploded so quickly into the public consciousness only two years ago.

This practice report presentation will share both the challenges we have faced as professors and some of the solutions that we have uncovered in helping our pre-service teachers become more empathic toward transgendered and queer students.