29. Is the Mere Mention Enough?: Representation Across Five Different Venues of Educator Preparation
Is the Mere Mention Enough?
Representation Across Five Different Venues of Educator Preparation
Genuinely successful schools require teachers and administrators who are competent in understanding, affirming, and responding to student and family diversity. As attention to diversity in schools has expanded beyond race and ethnicity to include sexual orientation and gender identity and/or expression, this has led to a growing awareness that diversities of sexual orientation and gender identity and/or expressions must be represented within college and university educator-preparation programs. While this recent attention to recognition is welcome and long overdue, to be uncritically pacified by just any form of inclusion is shortsighted and unwise. The specific topics covered and the nature of curricular representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are crucially important to consider, because different content and different representations are likely to have different outcomes in shaping the eventual beliefs, attitudes, and actions taken by future teachers and administrators. As the basis for a number of recommendations to follow, this chapter reviews research describing the formal curricula content of 197 teacher and administrator preparation programs and 20 textbooks written for preservice educators. The resulting recommendations will provide some direction for programs and education faculty who are mindful of curricular outcomes and committed to fully inclusive classrooms and schools.