Research Brief

Inclusive Learning Issue Brief

Cover of the Inclusive Learning Issue Brief

GLSEN’s research has demonstrated that LGBTQ students who attend schools with instruction that is inclusive of LGBTQ people, history, and events experience a better school climate and improved academic outcomes. We also know from the experiences of students, educators and advocates (as well as what is being attacked and undermined) that learning outside of the classroom also has a tremendous impact on LGBTQ+ youth experiences in schools.

This issue brief focuses on “inclusive learning,” which encompasses and extends beyond GLSEN’s historic focus on classroom instruction. We synthesize over 20 years of research conducted by GLSEN and others in the field and contribute original and new analyses of our National School Climate Survey (NSCS) 2021 data on the impact of inclusive learning on LGBTQ+ youth experiences and outcomes in k-12 schools in the US. We also clarify how state policies and curricular standards, locally adopted curriculum, and the practices of individual educators can shape whether or not students receive inclusive instruction.

For the first time, NSCS data is used to evaluate the impacts of LGTBQI+ inclusive school libraries, instructional materials, and school internet access and to specifically assess the impacts of LGBTQI+ inclusive sex education. Download the full report to learn more!