Graduate project

LGBTQ+ Inclusive Practices at the Elementary Level

Lack of support and curricular inclusion of LGBTQ+ topics has an adverse effect on school climate and bullying which in turn impact absenteeism, grades, and long-term physical and mental health outcomes for LGBTQ+ youth (Kosciw et al., 2020). The purpose of this project is to find and provide elementary school teachers with tools for curricular inclusion of LGBTQ+ topics and people. The project’s ideological framework is grounded in Care Theory which emphasizes the care in student-teacher relationships, the obligation to act that care creates, and navigating this care while operating in an educational institution (Noddings, 2013). This project also uses some aspects of Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) as a practical and pedagogical framework because of its adherence to valuing diversity, its large body of work and credibility, and its applicable tools. Content standards by Learning for Justice were used for the workshops as they directed lesson progression from naming identity, discussing diversity, analyzing justice and bias, and action. This project provided 10 professional development workshops ranging from introductory materials on LGBTQ+ topics to developing one’s own more inclusive curriculum. The curriculum includes using the dialogic tools to equip teachers with the appropriate terminology and pedagogical reasoning for including diverse people in one’s curriculum. Further, the workshops allow for teachers to discuss and explore LGBTQ+ inclusion within an educational institution by discussing backlash, finding supportive policies at various levels, and identifying good practices in LGBTQ+ support. In the future, this project should expand its scope by exploring identity formation and intersectionality.