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Increasing LGBTQ+ Competencies in Preservice Teacher Training Programs

Increasing LGBTQ+ Competencies in Preservice Teacher Training Programs
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Author(s): Kevin B. Balius (University of South Alabama, USA) and Susan Ferguson (University of South Alabama, USA)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 24
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.ch001


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As the national conversation forces LGBTQ+ rhetoric into the mainstream, some feel that the landscape is safe for those desiring to be open about their identity as well as for conversations and topics involving LGBTQ+ issues. Those who identify as LGBTQ+ and those who are familiar with or close to them might suggest a differing perspective—one that points to a deficit of safe spaces for discussing and being open about LGBTQ+ issues. While at times controversial, the English language arts classroom has been a forum for addressing issues that are difficult to discuss in other contexts, whether with literature as a backdrop for conversations or by utilizing written expression to work through concerns and questions. Since many educators seem unaware of the need for LGBTQ+ awareness, preservice teacher education is a place to begin. This chapter illustrates the need for equipping preservice teachers with the tools for introducing and discussing LGBTQ+ issues and topics through the context of the English language arts classroom.

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