Educational Foundations and Theory

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Courses that focus on educational theory or on foundational material related to teaching and learning have many different names, such as Educational Foundations, Introduction to Teaching, Philosophies of Education, and Histories of Education. Typically, such courses encourage students to start to develop their professional identities as purposeful teachers through self-reflection in relation to key educational theories and practices. In this module, we focus on topics related to foundational material, including philosophies, histories, and theories of teaching, as well as topics related to self-reflexivity and professional/personal identity, personal teaching philosophies, and ethical and political commitments.

See also: Practicum Courses and K-12 Subject Area Methods specialization modules

What does it mean to queer educational theory and foundations courses?

  • Countering the traditional absence of queer content from discussions of the foundations of education by including accurate and comprehensive information about 2SLGBTQ+ people and education topics. This helps teacher candidates to understand that 2SLGBTQ+ people and queer understandings are integral to all foundations of education, not specialized departures from them, and supports the capacity and confidence of teachers to effectively address this epistemic content.  It also helps to build teacher candidates’ knowledge about social, political, and cultural contexts relevant to 2SLGBTQ+ people and topics, including reasons why it is important to address 2SLGBTQ+ topics in schools and the historical marginalization of 2SLGBTQ+ in education. This includes key content on decolonizing education and educational institutions/systems, Indigenous perspectives on education and about 2S and queer/trans Indigenous peoples, and the historical and ongoing impact in schools and society of colonization, gender binaries, and historical and current conceptions of gender and sexuality.
  • Providing opportunities for teacher candidates to integrate a commitment to 2SLGBTQ+ education into their own emerging philosophies of teaching and professional identitiesTeaching is an ethical and political act, and teachers should be aware of and involved in social and political commitments to equity for 2SLGBTQ+ people. 
  • Including queer theory in discussions of critical pedagogy and teaching philosophy. Queer theory (and related conceptualizations of queer pedagogy) provides useful avenues and analytical tools to question notions of learning, teaching, and even what is considered to be “foundational” in education. Queer approaches can be used to effectively critique normative constructions of knowledge and teaching/learning, and even the hierarchical structures of education; as such, queer theory can help frame discussions of teaching philosophy, social contexts of teaching, and teaching praxis because it looks to the margins and provides opportunities to question, trouble, and problematize the status quo and accepted normative approaches. Such discussions provide profound opportunities to critically examine how educational practices systemically reinforce status-quo normativities regarding gender binaries and heterosexuality (e.g., Vavrus, 2009). This can be especially helpful in thinking about “best practices,” alternative forms of teaching/instruction, learning outcomes, and what “successful” education looks like (e.g., Villaverde & Stachowiak, 2019).
  • Providing opportunities for teacher candidates to reflect on and interrogate their own identity, privilege, and biases regarding 2SLGBTQ+ people/content. Unless teacher candidates have the opportunity to question their own positionality, behaviours, and attitudes, they will likely leave these normative biases unchecked and continue to perpetuate oppressive practices and conditions, which privilege some identities and marginalize others (e.g., Vavrus, 2009). 

Why do we need to do this?

  • Teacher candidates need to be prepared to address 2SLGBTQ+ students and content in schools. Providing 2SLGBTQ-expansive education is necessary in faculties of education, where teacher candidates learn what is expected of them as teachers, what the profession involves, and the content they will teach—especially as teachers are increasingly expected to have competency in this area. Students who are 2SLGBTQ+ need teachers who are competent with an array of sexuality and gender diversity topics, and it is helpful for teacher candidates to understand how all members of the school community benefit from diverse identities and viewpoints. Further, 2SLGBTQ+ content benefits all teacher candidates in developing broader critical and social awareness regarding 2SLGBTQ+ people, as well as school-specific climate concerns such as homo/bi/transphobia and bias-based bullying and harassment. 
  • Schooling is fundamentally implicated in many practices of gender and sexuality policing through curriculum, school structures, and socializationHowever, 2SLGBTQ+ topics are too often treated as secondary, optional, or add-on material in schools. By integrating 2SLGBTQ+ content throughout teacher education courses, teacher candidates will have an opportunity to examine how centering marginalized experiences (such as minoritized sexual orientations, gender identities, racialized identities, etc.) can benefit students, challenge normative and restrictive understandings of gender and sexuality, and exemplify inclusive curricula. When 2SLGBTQ+ identities and content are treated as secondary or add-on material, it perpetuates misconceptions that it is not relevant content, that 2SLGBTQ+ identities are deviations from the “norm” of heterosexual or cisgender students’ experiences, or that gender and sexuality can be adequately addressed through occasional mentions or by waiting for teachable moments to arise (Robinson & Ferfolja, 2008). Similarly, modelling how to address 2SLGBTQ+ content in useful ways helps to break the damaging practice of silence regarding 2SLGBTQ+ content (DePalma & Atkinson, 2006).
  • Expanding conceptions of education to include 2SLGBTQ+ people and content helps teacher candidates to conceive of more expansive and equitable education. This will help teacher candidates to integrate a commitment to 2SLGBTQ+ practices into their own emerging philosophies of teaching and professional identities as teachers (Bellini, 2012). 2SLGBTQ+ content has benefits for all teacher candidates, as compulsory heterosexuality and limited conceptions of gender as binary affect everyone. All teachers will have 2SLGBTQ+ students in their schools/classrooms at some point in their careers, but it is just as important to understand how all students (including those who seem to benefit from it) are subject to the policing of gender and sexuality in schools and in their lives more generally. 
  • Queer theory and queer pedagogy can be extremely helpful for teacher candidates in thinking about teaching practice. By including queer theory/pedagogy in teacher education courses, teacher candidates will have an opportunity to think deeply about teaching practice—about the boundaries of knowledge and what learning involves (e.g., Britzman, 1995), what normative teaching practices entail and strategies to effectively push beyond these boundaries, teaching as a discipline (e.g., Britzman & Gilbert, 2004), and even how to think about why theory can be helpful in teaching and curriculum development (Bellini, 2012, argues that teacher candidates need an opportunity integrate theory into praxis; Sumara & Davis, 1999, consider what queer theory can bring to discussions of curriculum and interrupting heteronormative thinking).
  • Teacher candidates will work with 2SLGBTQ+ people and, whether explicitly or implicitly, address 2SLGBTQ+ content in their classrooms.  Providing opportunities for teacher candidates to address their own attitudes and misconceptions about 2SLGBTQ+ people and content before they enter the workplace is essential to prevent potentially damaging, harmful, or dismissive interactions with students (Bellini, 2012; Riggs, Rosenthal, & Smith-Bonahue, 2011). Preparation regarding 2SLGBTQ+ content during teacher education ensures they have more accurate information (O’Malley, Hoyt, & Slattery, 2009) and make teachers more willing to be active allies of 2SLGBTQ+ students in their schools and classrooms (Riggs, Rosenthal, & Smith-Bonahue, 2011); this is true even when the content is fairly rudimentary and delivered in religious/socially conservative areas (O’Malley, Hoyt, & Slattery, 2009).
  • Too often 2SLGBTQ+ students are treated only as victims or as “at-risk” in schools because of their 2SLGBTQ+ identities, rather than because of oppressive social conditions. It is important to counter this deficit-based narrative because it perpetuates misunderstandings about 2SLGBTQ+ identities and contributes to ongoing practices of marginalizing 2SLGBTQ+ content (e.g., Ahuja et al., 2015; Jennings, 2015). 2SLGBTQ+ content in schools not only needs to address the harmful behaviours of homo/bi/transphobia and biased-based bullying, but it also needs to affirm the resiliencies, strengths, varied interests, and emotional lives of 2SLGBTQ+ students (Bellini, 2012).

How do we do it?

  • Integrate 2SLGBTQ+ content and identities throughout the entire foundations course—not just in particular sections. Ensuring that 2SLGBTQ+ people and topics are thoughtfully and accurately represented throughout course content helps to remove social stigma and address the pervasive cultures and discourses of silence regarding 2SLGBTQ+ people/content (DePalma & Atkinson, 2006). Inclusion can range from successfully introducing 2SLGBTQ+ terms and concepts (e.g., O’Malley, Hoyt, & Slattery, 2009) to exercises that encourage teacher candidates to examine their own identities and social positionalities (e.g., Vavrus, 2009; Sumara, 2007) to successfully introducing queer pedagogy in ways that affirm the importance of challenging discrimination and oppression (e.g., Bellini, 2012). Including 2SLGBTQ+ content increases teacher candidates’ knowledge and proactively addresses their attitudes (Riggs et al., 2011; Robinson & Ferfolja, 2008).
  • Examine social discourses and ways of speaking about 2SLGBTQ+ identities and content. Challenging rigid discourse systems that insist on gender binaries, gender conformity, and compulsory heterosexuality benefits all students, including 2SLGBTQ+ students. This gives teacher candidates experiences in having these conversations and in addressing this content in their own practice. For example:
    • Address the silencing/erasure and stigmatization of 2SLGBTQ+ identities and content in education, and discuss the ways that silence is not neutral but serves to reinforce historical silencing of 2SLGBTQ+ content as being “unspeakable” and “unknowable” in schools and works to marginalize and stigmatize 2SLGBTQ+ content and identities (DePalma & Atkinson, 2006; Ahuja et al., 2015; Jennings, 2015; Macgillivray & Jennings, 2008). Interrupting these marginalizing discourses of silence and stigma can benefit all students in understanding the socially constructed nature of sexuality and gender. Even when 2SLGBTQ+ content is included in text books (or even within course sections), for instance, it is worth considering where it appears and how it is treated in texts (Macgillivray & Jennings, 2008). Does it appear in sections on marginalized populations? In areas focusing on mental health or bullying? What messages are conveyed by this representation?
    • Consider the ways that assimilationist or conformist strategies of speaking about 2SLGBTQ+ identities underrepresent the diversity and intersectionality of 2SLGBTQ+ people and topics, including the conscious or unconscious editing of 2SLGBTQ+ identities to more closely conform to dominant notions of respectability and normativity (Jennings, 2015). (For instance, presenting marriage for 2SLGBTQ+ people as the ideal outcome or measure of a successful relationship because it allows 2SLGBTQ+ people to participate in hegemonic, normative relationship patterns. Achieving equal rights to marriage is an important legal recognition for 2SLGBTQ+ people and this can be emphasized while also recognizing that we should be careful in describing it as successful because it allows 2SLGBTQ+ access to the normative narrative of what a “successful” relationship looks like.) 
    • Challenge normative ways of speaking about teaching, narratives of teacher education, and professionalization using queer theory. As Britzman and Gilbert (2004) point out, the ways we speak about the teaching profession, including the history and intended goals of education, impacts teachers’ professional identity and their ability to envision themselves as educators. Teacher education generally recognizes the need to anticipate future contexts, both in helping future teachers to create a more equitable future and in prompting teacher candidates to develop a social sensibility about adapting to changing social contexts—and this is particularly relevant for continually evolving 2SLGBTQ+ identities, social contexts, and topics in schools. For instance, attitudes and understandings of 2SLGBTQ+ identities within educational contexts has shifted significantly in the past 100 years, particularly in schooling contexts (e.g., Blount, 2004; Griffin & Ouellett, 2003). Prompting teacher candidates to think about 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion, and more particularly about how understandings will continue to shift and evolve, can help prepare teachers who recognize that sociocultural understandings of 2SLGBTQ+ identities will change over time and who are ready to engage with these changing social contexts and participate in 2SLGBTQ+-expansive educational practices in future—even when that future is unknown.
  • Talk about professional relationships and professional identity using queer and Indigenous approaches. Interrogate hierarchical conceptions of teaching and learning, and emphasize relationship building and co-learning models. Use queer and Indigenous pedagogical approaches to centre relationship building and a relational ethic for teacher candidates to think about their professional identities/responsibilities and learning. For example:
    • Include 2SLGBTQ+ content in discussions of professional relationships and responsibilities. 2SLGBTQ+ people are present throughout the education system, and understanding professional relationships and responsibilities involves keeping 2SLGBTQ+ individuals in mind in various interactions and contexts—including interactions with students, other teachers, administrators, parents/guardians and the broader community, and professional organizations like teachers’ unions and government administration. 
    • Use queer theory to interrogate the idea of “foundations” of education, especially as they are linked to conceptions of objectively “successful” outcomes of learning/teaching and “best practices.” Constructions of knowledge are strongly tied to issues of power and authority (Britzman & Gilbert, 2004). It is worth prompting teacher candidates to think about what successful learning and teaching look like, asking questions such as, “Who benefits from this definition of best practices? Who is left out? Who is harmed?” and how academic activities interact with social and political content (Villaverde & Stachowiak, 2019). Other questions might include examining conceptions of what makes for a “good” and “bad” teacher and how these concepts are defined and who they benefit.
    • Talk about Indigenous pedagogies and what conceptions of education and authority look like using these approaches and perspectives. What are the “foundations” of Indigenous education and Indigenous pedagogies? How can Indigenous pedagogies help shape 2SLGBTQ+-inclusive teacher education programs? How does colonialism and settlership affect 2SLGBTQ+ education? Indigenous knowledges and approaches can help emphasize honour/respect for relationships and collaboration in teaching/learning, as well as enhance teaching about conservation, activism, community, gender, sexuality, etc. (Wilson & Laing, 2018). (Note: There is no singular, monolithic Indigenous approach or pedagogy. There are a multitude of Indigenous peoples, including Inuit and Métis and many nations, and it is important to understand that different Indigenous peoples will have different approaches to education and learning/teaching.)
  • Engage the critical power of queer theory, anti-oppressive pedagogies, Indigiqueering approaches, and land-based pedagogies. For example: 
    • Including queer theory and queer pedagogy in discussions of critical pedagogy can be extremely useful in thinking through theories of learning because queer approaches can be used to effectively critique normative constructions of knowledge and teaching/learning, and even the hierarchical structures of education. This can be especially helpful in prompting students to question what appear to be straightforward notions of teaching and learning, as well as to interrogate seemingly straightforward conceptions of “normal” identities and knowledge (Villaverde & Stachowiak, 2019) and the socially constructed nature of sexual and gender identities (Vavrus, 2009). 
    • Treat critical pedagogy and anti-oppressive education as “foundational” theories and practices of education in both culturally diverse and monocultural classrooms (e.g., O’Malley et al., 2009; Villaverde & Stachowiak, 2019), especially as these approaches are able to posit learning as transformative and expansive. Present decolonizing queer approaches (Hunt & Holmes, 2015), queered Indigenous education (Wilson & Laing, 2019), and anti-oppressive models of education (Kumashiro, 2002). For instance, anti-oppressive education aims to shift the ground regarding power and knowledge in schools and in larger society, which can be particularly constructive in challenging individuals’ complicity in various forms of oppression. Indigenous education practices can go beyond learning “about” Indigenous peoples and seek to “recogniz[e] and validat[e] Indigenous knowledge, knowledge systems, languages, self-determination, and sovereignty” (Wilson & Laing, 2019, pp. 138–139).
    • Highlight the potential interconnectedness of critical theory and its facility to actively inform practice, especially alongside queer theory (e.g., Bellini, 2012; Sumara & Davis, 1999). A queering theoretical stance is action oriented and focuses on challenging normativities; queer theory then can be usefully enacted and reinforced with other critical pedagogies, including decolonizing, Indigenous, or race-based approaches. For instance, Hunt and Holmes (2015) discuss the tensions and dynamics of an everyday decolonizing queer politics, which focuses on the lived, daily practices of allyship in the personal lives within their homes and families. Wilson and Laing (2019) discuss queering Indigenous education in ways that highlight the relationality between Indigeneity, pedagogy, land-based approaches, queerness, and Two-Spirit identities.
    • Incorporating Indigenous land-based approaches to education as vital and valuable practices in education. Land-based approaches shift the pedagogical framing, validate Indigenous knowledges, and provide holistic, integrated learning (Wilson & Laing, 2018). For example, at the University of Saskatchewan the graduate program Educational Foundations: Land-Based Indigenous Focus is offered. The “Take It Outside” program, which runs out of the Under One Sky Friendship Centre in New Brunswick, foregrounds learning through land-based, outdoor education that takes a holistic, inquiry-based learning approach and bases cultural knowledge and language learning in nature. The Kenanow Learning Model centres Indigenous knowledge through teaching methodologies that validate Indigenous cosmologies and worldviews. Providing teacher candidates opportunities to learn about land-based approaches opens up new possibilities for teaching practice, but also works to affirm Indigenous knowledges and validate them within formal education settings that have too often devalued them.
  • Encourage self-reflexivity for teacher candidates. 
    • Self-reflexivity provides a much-needed opportunity for teacher candidates to reflect on their own identities, gender, sexuality, and social positionality as a teacher before they are in the classroom (Mayo, 2007; Sumara, 2007; Vavrus, 2009). This includes self-reflective practices to understand how normative social standards operate and are regulated in their own lives, in the lives of students (or colleagues), and in their formation as teachers. Further, self-reflexivity can be helpful for teacher candidates to interrogate their own attitudes, privilege, and possible misconceptions regarding 2SLGBTQ+ people and the ways that normativity in schools works to reinforce gender binaries and compulsory heterosexuality (e.g., Robinson & Ferfolja, 2008; Vavrus, 2009). This provides a useful opportunity to develop understandings of the impact of these normative structures on all people—as well as opportunities to interrogate racism, colonialism, consumer-capitalism, ableism, and classism, the intersections of these social positions (Villaverde & Stachowiak, 2019), and the impacts of colonization and race on education and the teaching profession.
    • Self-reflexivity also gives teacher candidates an opportunity to address their personal attitudes, biases, or misconceptions about 2SLGBTQ+ people before they are put in a position of authority interacting with them as their teacher. This can also be a useful opportunity for students to confront any biases or uninterrogated attitudes toward Indigenous peoples, colonization, white fragility, settler identity, disability, etc., as hegemonic and normative systems of power that mutually reinforce one another. Narrative inquiry, autoethnography, phenomenology, and other narrative-based approaches provide important theoretical constructs to help teacher candidates explore their emerging teacher identities in relation to space, place, time, culture, and community among other contexts. 
    • Self-reflexive practices can give teacher candidates an opportunity to think about how they can address 2SLGBTQ+ content usefully in class, and to confront any misconceptions they may have about what is “appropriate” content for students (DePalma & Atkinson, 2006; Sumara, 2007; Sumara et al., 2006; Vavrus, 2009). This can be especially helpful in challenging silencing and marginalizing tendencies for 2SLGBTQ+ content as described above.
  • Enact queer pedagogy in the classroom. Model queer pedagogical approaches that critique sexual and gender normativity and populate the imagination with omitted or underrepresented queer and trans identities that challenge normative thinking. Highlight how queer theories of normativity and identity formation can usefully inform teaching practice (Bellini, 2012; Luhmann, 1998; Sumara, 2007). Explain how deconstructive analysis can inform pedagogical practice at all grade levels and subject areas (e.g., Letts & Sears, 1999; Mayo & Rodriguez, 2019; Pinar, 1998; Rodriguez & Pinar, 2007). 
  • Address regulatory contexts for 2SLGBTQ+ content and people in schools (see also Ethics, Policy, and the Law module). Regulatory contexts, including provincial/territorial legislation and school/district policy, are important in structuring educational environments, so looking at where and how 2SLGBTQ+ content is included/omitted/prohibited is important for teacher candidates to know. In general, 2SLGBTQ+ content can and should be addressed in schools, and it is supported through human rights legislation, by professional standards and ethics, and variously by regional or school board legislation/policy. But it is a useful exercise to look at precisely how local/regional regulatory contexts treat 2SLGBTQ+ content. For instance, is 2SLGBTQ+ content limited to safety measures, diversity initiatives, or anti-homophobia policies? Is it ever explicitly mentioned or is it inferred through mentions of human rights? Are there provisions/guidelines for curricular inclusion or does provincial/territorial curriculum include clear options? Are GSAs permitted? What do these policies and practices look like in private/independent, charter, faith-based/religious or culturally-based schools? Asking these questions and talking with teacher candidates about how to read policy and legislation, understand how it applies to them, and conceive how they are protected in addressing 2SLGBTQ+ content is much needed analytical work (e.g., Anderson, 2014). Where clear supports exist for practicing 2SLGBTQ-expansive education, it is important for teacher candidates to know what they are and how to act on them effectively, which removes their self-doubt or any second-guessing that may exist (Campbell et al., 2021; Robinson & Ferfolja, 2008). Where they do not, or where proscription exists, it is important for teacher candidates to understand their legal and professional rights and where to find allies and supports for doing this work, and what the attendant risks may be, in hostile contexts (e.g., Campbell & Taylor, 2017). 

Teaching Activities

  • Invisible knapsack activity. Using the activity “Unpacking the Invisible Backpack,” have students participate in this exercise to better understand heterosexual and cisgender privilege and the daily effects of cisgender heterosexual privilege. The activity includes a series of prompts about sexual orientation and gender identity for students to reflect on, such as “On a daily basis, as a straight person, I can be sure that my classes will include curricular materials that testify to the existence of people with my sexual orientation” or “On a daily basis, as a cisgender person, strangers don’t assume they can ask me what my genitals look like and how I have sex.” Following the exercise, students can be engaged in discussion about how many questions they answered yes to, how did the activity make them feel, if they understand cisgender and heterosexual privilege, and how the activity will help them change the way they work with or support 2SLGBTQ+ youth.
    • This activity was originally developed by Peggy McIntosh’s (1989), in her article on white privilege, but it has been adapted by 2SLGBTQ+ advocates. For instance, the website LGBTQ2S Toolkit provides an outline of the exercise and a downloadable PDF for use
    • Variations on this activity may involve:
      • Discussing how they might incorporate this activity in their own teaching practice. This may occur through a class presentation that involves having teacher candidates update the questions or adapt them for their own use/teaching context. For example, how might this activity be adapted for an early-years classroom? What does privilege look like for families and among relatives?
      • Having a critical discussion about intersectionality and the possible marginalization that may occur through these questions. Does race appear in this exercise? Does class or ableism? What is the effect of not mentioning these items? What privilege is at work in the omission of race, class, etc.? How might a racialized 2SLGBTQ+ student encounter these questions?
      • Since the activity is based on McIntosh’s, which focuses on white privilege, students could look at both activities side by side and consider how these activities centre whiteness and cisgender-heterosexuality. What are the implications of this? How does a presumption of, say, heterosexuality in a whole-classroom setting reinforce the notion of compulsory heterosexuality (or the heterosexual norm that 2SLGBTQ+ identities are cast in opposition to)—even in an exercise about privilege?
      • Discussing how the activity centres cisgender and heterosexual/straight identities. Each section of questions on sexual orientation and gender identity begins with the prompt, “On a daily basis, as a cisgender / heterosexual person…”—and this presumes participants are cisgender and heterosexual. How might a 2SLGBTQ+ person respond to these questions? How might a closeted or questioning student (who are likely thinking often about their sexuality or gender identity) encounter these questions? A bisexual/pansexual or non-binary student?

The purpose of these variations is not to discount or invalidate this exercise but to introduce a critical queering lens.

  • Introduce queer theory. When teaching about foundational concepts in education, introduce queer pedagogy and Indigiqueering approaches to engage teacher candidates to expand upon “foundational” theories and understand their limitations and strengths. This can serve as a model for teacher candidates in how to engage a critical queer, anti-oppressive, Indigegogy in their practice. 
    • For example, challenge students to consider what impact an anticolonial queer approach offers in various contexts. What would it mean to include anticolonial queer education in theory X? How does this contribute to developing your own philosophy of teaching? Is it a good fit? Why or why not? What tensions arise? Can you imagine what 2SLGBTQ+-expansive education would look like in your own future teaching? in your intended subject/grade level?
  • Textbook audit for 2SLGBTQ+ content. Have teacher candidates conduct a critical textbook audit of their foundations texts to show students how discourse and “official” scholarly material on education can neglect, marginalize, or stigmatize 2SLGBTQ+ identities and content. Prompt students to look critically at how content regarding gender and sexuality is incorporated—whether it is integrated throughout the text, relegated to a “special” section, included only in sections on bullying/harassment, placed in a section on marginalized or special considerations for students, or even put between sections discussing mental health or resiliency. This is a useful exercise to encourage teacher candidates to consider how 2SLGBTQ+ identities and content are being represented and discussed in teacher education training (e.g., see Macgillivray & Jennings, 2008, for an example of this exercise and their findings).
    • This exercise can also be done using an intersectional, multi-lens approach; for example, looking at how Indigenous peoples, racialized identities, colonization, etc., are included.
    • A textbook audit also gives teacher candidates an opportunity to learn how to do this in their own practice and with the textbooks/readings they will assign in their own classrooms. Being able to identify the shortcomings of “official” narratives regarding teaching and the field of education (and in various disciplines/subject areas where textbooks serve as foundational texts providing official narratives) is helpful in identifying the workings of marginalization and oppression in educational praxis.
    • Supplement this textbook audit/review with an exercise that requires students to develop supplementary material to include this content. This exercise may involve different aspects/approaches:
      • developing a strengths-based perspective that de-stigmatizes 2SLGBTQ+ identities;
      • a proposed list of revisions identifying where content has been excluded and how it could be usefully introduced;
      • researching the representations that have been included to develop a more holistic understanding of what is included, how other researchers are investigating this material, and how community activists respond to this material;
      • investigating the interlocking forms of oppression and how different forms of oppression are mutually supportive (e.g., how settler-colonialism worked to delegitimize Indigenous knowledges and enforced the gender binary, compulsory heterosexuality, colonial gender roles, economic systems, educative practices, etc.).
  • Self-reflexivity and autoethnography assignments. As part of teacher candidates’ education, it can be a very useful experience to reflect on their own social positionality, especially when it comes to gender, sexuality, racialized identities, ableism, and class, where privilege is too often assumed or tacitly endorsed. Introducing critical theoretical readings that help students understand social normativities regarding 2SLGBTQ+ identities, gender binary, and compulsory heterosexuality—as well as critical readings on racialized identities, colonialism, Indigenous worldviews, ableism, class—can be usefully introduced as some critical material for students to reflect on (e.g., see Vavrus, 2009, for another example of this type of assignment; Sumara, 2007, for discussion about interrupting certainty about identity and fostering ongoing narrativizing practices).
  • Queer histories of education. As Britzman and Gilbert (2004) argue, the “narratives” that are told about teacher education inform how we think about education, what it looks like, and what is made possible for the present/future in the field of education. Expanding narratives about teacher education, specifically looking at histories of education regarding how 2SLGBTQ+ content and people have been treated (e.g., Blount, 2004; Griffin & Ouellett, 2003), how they have been included/welcomed and excluded/marginalized, what regulatory contexts such as policy and legislation tell us about 2SLGBTQ+ identities/content in schools can help teacher candidates develop future visions for what education can accomplish.