Presentation on theme: "LGBT Student Learning in Higher Education: Key Concerns and Questions Dr Vicky Gunn Director Learning and Teaching Centre."— Presentation transcript:
LGBT Student Learning in Higher Education: Key Concerns and Questions Dr Vicky Gunn Director Learning and Teaching Centre
Key themes – HE research on student learning How does being identified as, self- identifying as: ‘different’ impact on each of these?
Contributing academic factors: 1. Pedagogic Curriculum approaches (programme design & implementation including assessment processes); Newness & size of subject (Gibbs, 1989); Academic’s approach to teaching (Trigwell & Prosser, 1999); Accessibility via the transparency of the discipline’s requirements (Lea, 2004; Haggis, 2003);
2. Reciprocal Impact of power relations on alienation and engagement (Mann, 2001); Abstract or authentic situations of disciplinary learning (Lave, 1998;Lave & Wenger, 1991); Tacit values & hidden curriculum (Margolis, 2001)
Campus cultures: An explanatory aside: Normative - dominant discourse, supported through tacit agreement of the most powerful Norm - a practice, belief system, idea adopted by a group that sometimes aligns with the ‘normative discourse’ and sometimes doesn’t.
Location of real tension for groups including people with multiply identities. Current example: Same-sex marriage So what?
Key Campus Climate Topics Experiences and perceptions of a particular single minority Intersecting equality groups’ experiences and perceptions
Hurtado, S., Carter, D.F. & Kardia, D. (1998) Fears for their physical safety; Frequent occurrences of disparaging remarks or jokes regarding sexual orientation; Anti-gay graffiti; A high degree of inaccurate information and stereotypes reflected in student attitudes; Lack of visibility of gay role models or access to supportive services;
Conflicts in classes regarding the topic of sexual orientation; Students’ feeling as if they need to censor themselves in classroom environments or academic activities for fear of negative repercussions; Lack of integration of sexual orientation into the curriculum.
Individual Academic’s Approaches? Assumption: even with regulatory processes, curriculum design highly personalized in higher education – big questions about what a curriculum is in HE Deliberate omission of material: relating to LGBT perspectives on a subject. that portrays LGBT people in a positive light. Deliberate inclusion of material where LGBT persons are portrayed in a negative light.
More likely? deliberately ignoring matters of sexual orientation when they arise in the classroom; not reacting to derogatory remarks made towards staff, students and folk outwith the classrooms; behaving differently to those we suspect of being LGBT in orientation.
How do these issues get played out? Conflicts in classes regarding the topic of sexual orientation Students’ feeling as if they need to censor themselves in classroom environments or academic activities for fear of negative repercussions Lack of integration of sexual orientation into the curriculum Privileging one identity over another
Individual psycho-social spaces of discrimination of being disliked for who or what you are; for physical safety Lack of role models Absence of representation in the curriculum Micro- aggressions Negative graffiti Negative stereotyping Avoiding conflict Internalization of norms ‘Passing’ External Threats Self- censorship Invisibility Fears
Approaches to change? Raising awareness (It gets better videos!) Engaging with learners Developing queer theory based pedagogies (antidotes to normative approaches) Identifying institutional and discipline champions Getting discipline-specific professional bodies on-side Embedding within programme approval and other quality enhancement systems
Bother because: In Further and Higher Education what we include in our teaching and how we teach are, in many cases, intrinsically linked. Together these, along with the personalities in a department, make up the dominant culture. If the dominant normative culture sees LGBTQ experience as irrelevant or wrong – this might impact on student learning outcomes.
Gunn, V.A. (2010) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Perspectives and Learning at University. Equality & Diversity Unit commissioned briefing, University of Glasgow, Additional materials can be found in the LGBTQ section of my website: see in particular: Ellis, Sonja J. (2009) Diversity and Inclusivity at University: A Survey of the Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Students in the UK. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning, 57(6): Epstein, D. et al. (2003) Post-Compulsory Heterosexuality: Silences and tensions in curricula and pedagogy in Higher Education. In: Silenced Sexualities in Schools and Universities, Trentham Books, Stoke-on-Trent, Also see: recent Equality Challenge Unit publication on the experience of LGBT Staff and Students in Higher Education (England and Wales only): Additional resources