Title

Helping Pre-Service Teachers Understand the "T" and "Q" in LGBTQ

First Presenter's Institution

Georgia Gwinnett College

Second Presenter's Institution

Georgia Gwinnett College

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Strand #1

Safety & Violence Prevention

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

Transgender and queer students are some of the students most at risk of bullying and school violence (Strand III). In addition, creating safe spaces for transgender and queer students is a fundamental part of cultivating a sense of classroom community for all students (Strand II). This presentation will help teacher educators consider ways that they may lead pre-service teachers to be more sensitive to the needs of transgender and queer students, thereby decreasing the social risk and the safety risk for those youth.

Brief Program Description

The pre-service teachers we mentor at Georgia Gwinnett College are generally more confused by and less accepting of transgender and queer students than they are of lesbian, gay, and bisexual students. This presentation will help teacher educators consider ways that they may lead pre-service teachers to be more sensitive to the needs of transgender and queer youth.

Summary

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, including the need for creating safe spaces for such students in their classrooms. Rather, our pre-service teachers easily accept that they will have non-heterosexual students, and they are eager to learn how to prevent bullying and encourage acceptance of LGB students.

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 the solutions that we have formulated.

Evidence

Both presenters are teacher-educators at the college level. They each have several years of experience working with pre-service teachers with the goal of encouraging teachers to create more culturally-responsive and caring classrooms.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Jamie Lewis is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia, where she teaches courses in philosophy, socio-cultural diversity, history, and psychology. From 1997 to 1998, Lewis was the project manager of the Pinon Preparation Program, a teacher education program located on the Navajo reservation. Prior to joining the GGC faculty, she was the director of student services in the College of Education at the University of Georgia from 2003-2010.

Lewis is a social foundations scholar interested in the impact of power and privilege on educational practices and policies, as well as in the examination of the socio-cultural contexts of education. She is a qualitative methodologist and has been involved in several qualitative evaluations and workshops in qualitative research methods. She was a co-author of Learning to Interview in the Social Sciences (with Roulston and deMarrais), which has been acknowledged as the most cited article in Qualitative Inquiry (2003), one of the top-tier journals in qualitative research. Her published articles include Legal Challenges to Segregated Education in Topeka, Kansas, 1903-1941 in Educational Studies (2005) commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan.

George Darden is an Assistant Professor at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia, where he teaches courses in philosophy, socio-cultural diversity, history, and psychology. Darden is a sixth-generation Georgia teacher.

Darden worked as a social studies teacher in several different schools over the course of his 15-year secondary teaching career, including a decade at Henry W. Grady High School in the Atlanta Public Schools. While his doctoral dissertation focused on professional development and educational leadership, his scholarly interests have been more closely tied to civil rights and social justice.

Both Lewis and Darden completed doctoral degrees at the University of Georgia in Social Foundations of Education.

Keyword Descriptors

Transgender, queer, LGBTQ, teacher education, social justice, cultural diversity, caring classroom

Presentation Year

March 2018

Start Date

3-6-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

3-6-2018 10:15 AM

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Mar 6th, 8:30 AM Mar 6th, 10:15 AM

Helping Pre-Service Teachers Understand the "T" and "Q" in LGBTQ

The pre-service teachers we mentor at Georgia Gwinnett College are generally more confused by and less accepting of transgender and queer students than they are of lesbian, gay, and bisexual students. This presentation will help teacher educators consider ways that they may lead pre-service teachers to be more sensitive to the needs of transgender and queer youth.