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A Critical Assessment of LGBTQ+ Speakers in the Classroom and Suggestions for Alternative Practices

A Critical Assessment of LGBTQ+ Speakers in the Classroom and Suggestions for Alternative Practices
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Author(s): Michelle Powell (Indiana University, USA)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 26
Source title: Incorporating LGBTQ+ Identities in K-12 Curriculum and Policy
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): April Sanders (Spring Hill College, USA), Laura Isbell (Texas A&M University, Commerce, USA) and Kathryn Dixon (Texas A&M University, Commerce, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1404-7.ch004

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Abstract

LGBTQ+ subjects have long been rendered invisible in school curricula. More recently, however, teachers, students, and administrators have recognized the need to remedy this erasure and many are making LGBTQ+ visibility a curricular imperative. In this chapter, the author explores a specific tactic that is often used to increase LGBTQ+ visibility and increase awareness of LGBTQ+ issues—the guest speaker. The body of the chapter begins with a brief discussion of the ways in which the guest speaker can be a useful tool. Most of the existing literature on the use of guest speakers, however, takes for granted that the technique is universally positive and empowering. Therefore, in the second portion of the chapter the author will elaborate several critiques. Finally, she will discuss several models that can serve to increase knowledge about LGBTQ+ topics and increase LGBTQ+ visibility, and which work as well as or better than the guest speaker model.

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