Supporting LGBTQIA+/Takatāpui Students in the Tertiary/Higher Learning Environment

My area of interest is researching how education can positively impact the negative statistics associated with rainbow youth through enhancing an inclusive education offering, allowing for growth, self-expression and acceptance. I am taking a bottom-up approach to review how tertiary education providers can engage successfully with LGBTQIA+ from a young person’s perspective in order to support the acceptance of difference and challeng the dominant heteronormative attitudes in education.

Further studies on improving LGBTQIA+ education offerings to gain a better understanding of LGBTQIA+ learning matters are vital to the future of education. It is important that educators begin to understand how and when LGBTQIA+ acknowledgement can be applied to the learning environment and how learning experiences can be enhanced for all students. A study conducted by GLSEN.org (Gay, Lesbian and straight education network) (2011) identified that an LGBTQIA+ inclusive curriculum and educational space encourages a less hostile and more welcoming environment which strengthens the interpersonal development of all students. Change starts with education, which leaves educators with an obligation to identify, challenge and eliminate bias by delivering a positively diverse and inclusive rhetoric to all students.

GLSEN.org. (2011). 2001 National schools survey. Retrieved from https://www.glsen.org/press/2011-national-school-climate-survey

Researcher: Andrea Trueman

Contact: andrea.trueman@weltec.ac.nz

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