Getting Ready for Benjamin: Preparing Teachers for Sexual Diversity in the Classroom
Rita M. Kissen
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 23 oct. 2002 - 280 pages
This book argues that issues of sexual diversity are inextricably interwoven into the basic concerns of pre-service teacher education. How do we make our students aware of assumptions regarding masculinity, femininity, and sexuality that arise from what is presented, represented, or omitted from curricula and classroom practice? What do we say about homophobia and heterosexism as we anticipate the administrative hierarchies, school cultures, parent and community politics they will encounter as teachers? What special challenges might face a teacher (straight or gay) who discusses sexual orientation in a high school classroom, or responds to a homophobic remark in the hallway or the cafeteria? How should we prepare a teacher for a parent conference with two moms or two dads? The essays in this volume range from an analysis of gay stereotypes in teacher education textbooks, to a discussion of queer multiculturalism, to personal accounts by lesbian and gay teacher educators and heterosexual allies who are challenging homophobia and heterosexism in their own classrooms and programs. All agree that education for sexual diversity is as important as education about all other forms of difference, and that future teachers need to know how to create safe spaces for lesbian and gay students, along with the children of gay families who are increasingly a part of the classroom landscape.
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