Learning Experience #2

Before reading this article, I had very limited knowledge about what queer theory was. If you had asked me, I would have stumbled out an answer about how gay and lesbian rights. When asked about queer theory in the education system I would have quickly stated that its a theory about gay and lesbain rights to education without discrimination.  Just within the introduction of the assigned reading I felt my knowledge greatly expanding. Just short of total embarrassment of my own prior knowledge, I dived into the article eager. The article starts by addressing the connotation of the word “queer” and how new concepts applied in the school setting can be the road to liberatory and positive influnces. Queer theory challenges societal assumptions about relationships, idientity, gender, and sexual orientation. Queer theory offers educators the opportunity to create a classroom that is inclusive of diveristy and socially just, something I think all educaotrs should be striving for when creating a safe learning environment. The article is divided into four sections: homophobia and sexism, gender coders limiting opportunities, concepts of language and discourse, and explaining several of the key ideas in Queer Theory that are incorporated by educators in schooling today.

The first section argues that the issue of bullying has been formed into focusing on isolate acts of teasing or violence instead of focusing on the form of policing and enforcing the norms of society. Educators must equip themselves with adequate information to stay involved and support their students in whatever way necessary.

The second section focused on the invisible force of masculinity and femininity shaping the minds in early childhood. Hegemony is when the groups in power are able to maintain structures that benefit them through gaining the consent of subordinate groups; this is examplied in the purchasing of gender-”appropriate” toys. At first this surprised me because when I think of gender limiting students’ opportunities I often resort to job inequalities and not parent influence. Madeline Arnot focused on the element that gender categories are taught in schools. When issues are brought up in schools it is crucial for educators to be aware of the role that gender codes may play and to avoid projecting these norms on unique situations.

The third section focused on how ignoring homophobia actually encourages intolerance. The discourse of viewing homosexuality as an illness was created through psychological research, religion, and political and financial privileges of heterosexual structures. Extracurricular functions have begun to be subverted such as the alternative proms organized by gay-straight alliances and community youth groups. Heterosexiam and homophobia are linked to cultural gendar boundaries. By ignoring the roots of heterosexism in school curriculum, schools are providing single-story narratives that not every individual can identify with or feel represented.

The fourth section talked about the role queer theory can play in tranforming schools to meet the necessity measures of society. Kumashiro pushes educators to find new methods to destabilize traditional ways of learning and offers different tools.

The article challenged me as an individual to understand what role I can play in not only advocating for queer theory, but in every day societal interactions. As a leader on campus, it is my responsibility to continually educate myself to better service the ever growing community.

LC 2 created a google docs: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1G-LJylfVPYHsHRm4y0pWic2c7SLsZJcKffm7cu04rE0/edit#slide=id.g813cc330e1_0_0 that highlighted the key sections and concepts from the reading. We supported the main topics with information that helps future educators not only understand their role, but help them make educated decisions one day.

My LC decided to incorporate a workshop into the lesson to enable the classroom to have a chance to self quiz themselves and create an open conversation. My discussion with you Dr. Shutkin, I was encouraged to look into the importance of students having a community. These clubs are formed as the individuals refuse to be victimized because their truth differs from someone else’s truth. The root of the idea of the workshop stemmed from my want to educate the class. It is so critical as future educators to give kids the knowledge to succeed in society. After much research, I decided to create a slide focusing on the 4 step process to break the stigma, the negative connotation associated with individuals following their truth. The four steps to break the stigma, don’t let the slurs slide, create and protect safe spaces, raise up the voices of LGBTQIA+ neighbors and to advocate for legal chances. I then came across the quiz our LC presented to the class. Finally, I attached a few key quotes and ideas from the resources provided on ED253 School and Society page. I chose to highlight ideas that I felt like connecting the reading to the rest of society.

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