Jessica De Young Kander NCTE 2011


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Bringing English Education Out of the Closet: Using LGBT Literature in Secondary and Post-Secondary English Programs

Presented Friday 18 November 2011 at 11:00am in Chicago IL

Published in: Education, Technology, Spiritual
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  • This course investigates queer theory in conjunction with children’s and young adult (YA) literature instruction. The course explores the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/sexual, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) people as portrayed in texts for children and young adults and in English curriculum. Students look at the ways in which LGBTQ literacies intersect with pedagogical discussions of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and age while paying special attention to such intersections as they relate to the pedagogical ramifications of these intersections. There will be a focus on connecting children’s and YA literature instruction to areas of inquiry including historical perspectives, identity, family, heterosexism, and LGBTQ social movements.The course will be a typical 14-15 week course and will address both historical and contemporary perspectives.
  • Jessica De Young Kander NCTE 2011

    1. 1. Bringing English Education Out of the Closet: LGBT Literature in Secondary and Post-Secondary English Classes Jessica De Young Kander Eastern Michigan University NCTE—Chicago IL 18 November 2011
    2. 2. “Learning is anidentity process” (Vetter 37).
    3. 3. Driving Questions[Solution] • What, if any, texts are included in programs with LGBT content? [The Question][Justification] • What are possible reasons for the lack of LGBT texts and topics in English programs? [The Problem][Problem] • Why are these texts and issues important to include in English Programs? [The Justification][Question] • How can these texts and issues be included in English Programs? [The Solution]
    4. 4. Methodology[Solution] • Literature review[Justification] • Survey and follow-up interviews • Observations[Problem][Question]
    5. 5. Survey[Solution] • Have you ever included literature in your classes that has LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) characters? – Yes[Justification] – No • If answered “Yes” to previous question, were the characters central characters? – Yes – No • Have you ever discussed LGBT issues in your class? – Yes[Problem] – No • Do you include literary criticism/theory in your class? – Yes – No • If answered “Yes” to previous question, do you include queer theory? – Yes[Question] – No
    6. 6. Case Study 1: Mara[Solution] Environment Survey and Interview Response • Private Boarding School[Justification] • Has complete control over • 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade English curriculum (including texts used) • Science and Math • Uses Perks of Being a Focused Program Wallflower • Includes Queer Theory • Includes Homoerotic[Problem] readings of texts, particularly Sherlock Holmes • Student projects dealing with Queer Theory and[Question] Homoerotic readings of such texts as Dracula.
    7. 7. Case Study 2: Karen[Solution] Environment Survey and Interview Response • Private School • Does not include LGBT texts[Justification] • 10th, 12th grade or topics • Religious Based Program • Has dealt with parental concerns regarding potential queer subtext in a text read for program[Problem][Question]
    8. 8. Case Study 3: Dara[Solution] Environment Survey and Interview Response • Public School[Justification] • Does not include LGBT texts or • 16-19 year olds/Adults topics • “I guess I’m afraid how the • Alternative program kids will react, and I’m even more afraid of how I would respond to any negative responses to the issue” • “Maybe I just don’t[Problem] understand how to open up their minds without becoming angry if they don’t see the injustice faced by LGBT youth” • Has a self-identified gay student working on[Question] researching the formation of sexual identities in a school environment.
    9. 9. Observation[Solution] Environment Observations • Eastern Michigan • Slow start[Justification] University • Freshman Seminar (first • Eventually most students semester): 20 students willing to talk candidly (17-19 years old) about • CHL208: Introduction to Multicultural homosexuality, homophobia Children’s Literature , and the text[Problem] • Reading David • Connections made by Levithan’sBoy Meets Boy several students between • Pervious homophobic the text and their own comments made lives, larger issues in our[Question] • One self-identified gay culture, and other texts student (known) read
    10. 10. Findings[Solution] • Lack of LGBT texts – Fear[Justification] – Deflection – Resources – Knoweldge[Problem][Question]
    11. 11. •LGBT-identified youth[Solution] “Merely having make up nearly 10% of population the texts available is not •LGBT-identified youth[Justification] make up nearly 30% of enough, particu all teen suicides larly when we •64%+ of all LGBT-[Problem] think about the identified students stakes” report feeling unsafe (Kopelson 33) in their schools[Question]
    12. 12. NCTE Resolution[Solution] RESOLVED, that the National Council of Teachers of English will 1.provide leadership for including the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues in all teacher preparation programs;[Justification] 2.urge the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) to require the study of LGBT issues in teacher preparation programs; 3.urge NCTE members to address the needs of LGBT students, as well as children of LGBT families, and to incorporate LGBT issues in their work; 4.urge the NCTE Editorial Board to be proactive in seeking strong scholarship in LGBT studies for publication and, where relevant, encourage NCTE authors to draw out the queer studies[Problem] implications of their work; 5.continue to address LGBT issues in its programs, conferences, publications, and advo- cacy initiatives; and 6.publish guidelines and instructional materials and offer professional development oppor- tunities designed to assist teachers in their teaching of LGBT issues.[Question] 2007 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in New York, NY
    13. 13. Solutions?![Solution] • What is needed? – More education for teachers[Justification] – More resources made available – More support for teachers – More willingness on teacher part to broach[Problem] these topics (when feel they are well educated, supported, and have the necessary resources available)[Question]
    14. 14. [Question] [Problem] [Justification] [Solution]
    15. 15. Resources This text charts the evolution of LGBTQ young adult literature from 1969-2004. Cart and Jenkins identify both excellent examples and examples of texts that fail to dispel stereotypes and outdated mindsets. The included annotated bibliography alone makes this book an invaluable resources for teachers, librarians, parents, and young adult readers.
    16. 16. This is the first collection of essaysdedicated to LGBTQ issues inchildren’s literature. Thecollection serves “both as ascholarly reference and as atextbook for students of children’sstudies; gender/queer studies;and related disciplines” (from theback cover). Several of the essaysprovide models for how we mightapproach literature through thelens of queer theory andgender/sexuality studies.
    17. 17. The Rainbow Project is a joint project of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American LibraryAssociation. The Rainbow Project presents an annual bibliography of quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content, which are recommended for people from birth through
    18. 18. I’m Here. I’m Queer. What The Hell Do I Read? Is a blog that offers reviews and news about LGBT Young Adult Literature for teen readers, librarians, teachers, parents, and anyone who might just beinterested. Reviews come from the site creator as well as the readersthemselves. This site provides a more “one the ground” look at many of the books currently available.
    19. 19. QueerYA is a review blog of fiction that may be of interest to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, and questioning teenagers. Thisincludes books written for teens, or marketed to teens, or written for another audience but featuring teenage characters. This blog provides reviews thatwould be approachable to teen readers themselves. A wide range of texts are reviewed providing a well rounded view of the texts available.
    20. 20. Contact Information Jessica De Young Kander