Standing but not Delivering: Preparing Pre-service Teachers to use LGBTQ Young Adult Literature in the Secondary English Classroom
Despite calls from national organizations (CAEP, NCTE) to prepare teachers to include the study of LGTBQ culture into classrooms, little progress has been made incorporating LGTBQ themed literature and dialogue surrounding LGBTQ issues in secondary classrooms (Clark, 2010; Sieben & Wallowitz, 2009; Haertling-Thein, 2013). To examine why, this qualitative case study explored the transition of two educators who participated in LGBTQ teacher training as teacher candidates from pre-service to practicing teachers. Consistent with current research, the researchers discovered that teacher training in LGBTQ literature and issues promoted an ally-stance. Participants came to recognize the need to include this genre within their curriculum as practicing teachers and made a commitment to do so. However, this stance was not enough to influence the actual use of LGBTQ literature and dialogue surrounding LGBTQ issues in the classroom. We discuss the factors that shape this resistance despite participants maintaining an ally-stance. We recommend a more widened scope of study of LGBTQ issues and literature within our English teacher education programs and added professional development of current practicing teachers and administrators in an effort to make explicit the literary value of LGBTQ themed texts and the responsibility for dialogue on LGBTQ issues to occur.
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