GLSEN Partners on Efforts for LGBT-Inclusive Teacher Prep
New Partnership to Broaden Inclusion of LGBT Content in Teacher Preparation
NEW YORK, Feb. 24, 2014 – GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) are partnering on an effort to ensure that the next generation of teachers are equipped to effectively teach lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and combat anti-LGBT bias in their schools.
GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey has consistently found that anti-LGBT bias and behavior are pervasive problems in K-12 schools but that supportive educators can change school culture and lead to better academic and psychological outcomes for LGBT youth. While some teacher preparation programs incorporate LGBT-inclusive practices and content into their curriculum and pedagogy, there has been no deliberate, comprehensive national effort to expand the practice throughout the profession.
“We are thrilled to work with the two leading teacher education associations in a first-of-its kind national partnership to improve teacher preparation related to LGBT issues,” said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard, Ph.D. “LGBT students and families all too often face discrimination, stigmatization and even violence in school. Supportive teachers can make a tremendous difference by creating safe classrooms and affirming curricula, but our research shows that many are not adequately prepared to address these issues in school.”
Under the partnership, GLSEN, AACTE and ATE will:
- Improve the knowledge base regarding the state of teacher preparation on LGBT issues through a national survey of teacher educators.
- Develop programmatic efforts and resources, informed by the research findings, to further inclusion of LGBT issues in teacher preparation.
“As instances of bullying in schools persist, it is more critical than ever that we equip teachers with the knowledge and confidence to address discrimination and other behaviors that threaten student safety or distract from the community of mutual respect required for successful learning,” said Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., President and CEO of AACTE. “Through this important partnership with GLSEN and ATE, AACTE will gain critical data so that we can provide our members with resources to help them integrate LGBT issues into their curriculum and prepare teachers to create inclusive, supportive learning environments for all students.”
Said ATE President Nancy Gallavan: “The Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) is excited about the partnership we have established with AACTE and GLSEN to infuse teacher education with LGBT-related content. This partnership aligns with ATE Resolution 2007-1: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equity Issues and supports our vision to promote advocacy, equity, leadership and professionalism for teacher educators in all settings and supports quality education for all learners at all levels.”
The first phase of the collaboration will begin this year with a national survey of teacher educators. Currently, there is no national data on the extent to which teacher educators incorporate LGBT topics into their teaching, and little information on what would be helpful to teacher educators in their attempts to address LGBT issues. Furthermore, although there is some content on LGBT inclusion in teacher preparation, to date there is no large scale, programmatic response designed to equip teacher preparation programs and teacher educators with the tools and expert guidance to appropriately and effectively incorporate LGBT issues into their curriculum. As leaders in their respective fields, GLSEN, AACTE and ATE are ideally positioned to lead the field in development of both research and programmatic initiatives designed to ensure quality inclusion of LGBT issues in teacher preparation.
“This new collaboration will help to close that gap through rigorous research and evidence-based programming,” Byard said. “We will ensure that teacher educators can prepare our country’s future classroom leaders to effectively teach all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, so that LGBT youth and families have the equal access to education they deserve, free from bias and violence.”
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.