“‘But I’m Not Gay’: What Straight Teachers Need To Know About Queer Theory” Learning Experience

Part 1

I personally do not have a tremendous amount of lived experiences regarding this topic and reading but after reading this article, it definitely still raises questions and concerns about homophobia and queer theory within schools. I went to a school that did not have many LGBTQ+ students and the students that did fall under this category were greatly accepted from what I saw and heard. I think this was most likely due to the fact that during my Junior year of high school, about half of the cheerleading squad came out as homosexual together and this then made it almost the “cool” thing to be which I think made others feel more comfortable with their sexuality. Although I think my school had a great environment, I know that most schools are not like this. I am very curious to know what kind of training or information teachers are given on how to deal with this particular kind of bullying and what kind of consequences are given. 

There are a myriad of themes developed by the author within this work but some of the main themes are that bullying in schools have become mainstream, teaching the students and teachers the effects of homophobia can reduce bullying, the idea that gender categories are taught in schools, and the dress code. In addition the article references the long term effects of gendered harassment, the current heterosexism within schools currently, gender policing, and the importance of teachers and staff being educated on this topic.   

Elizabeth J. Meyer included quite a bit of evidence to support the claims she was making. She does this by referencing things historically that cause problems as well as quoting a myriad of different theories and sources in all of her sections that further prove what she is saying. This is beneficial because by including a wide variety of sources that back up what she is saying, her point becomes more reliable.

There are certainly a plethora of political, cultural, and ideological perspectives present within the article that contribute to its effectiveness of achieving the author’s message of the need for change within schools. One of which is Liberatory pedagogy, which is liberation centered around the principles for social change and transformation through education based on consciousness raising and engagement with oppressive forces. In addition, we also see examples of progressive education intertwined throughout the reading and additionally political ideals are definitely centered here as this can potentially be a very controversial issue in some districts.  

After reflecting on this reading I believe that the problems highlighted are very salient to us as future teachers. I think that a lot of these ideas will be challenging to implement, especially in more conservative areas, but I think it is certainly possible. Overall this reading has made me more inclined to challenge my education regarding issues such as gender norms, the dress code, homophobia, etc. and makes me want to begin to address these kinds of issues in a respectful and effective way in my future classrooms. 

Part 2

As I mentioned previously, there were a wide variety of themes incorporated into the reading and we as a group did our best to try and preview all of them. When making our lesson plan however, we did our best to focus on the most relevant material to us as past high school students and future teachers. Some of the concepts we particularly stressed were the dress code and the way in which it is enforced is inherently wrong, how schools can better promote inclusivity based on our own personal lived experiences, homophobia and sexism within schools and particularly how our schools addressed these issues and how we think they should be addressed, and how we can incorporate queer theory research into our curriculums. 

Our primary objective was to spread awareness. I think if teachers, students, and staff were aware of how prevalent these issues are and the huge negative effect it has on others than they will be more inclined to promote positive queer theory. After the discussion it seems apparent that a large sum of bullying that happens regarding this topic comes from ignorance and as future teachers, it is our job to educate. If we can promote equality and cohesion then ideally our students will feel more comfortable in the classroom and learn better.

Planning the lesson was not a super challenging class. After doing a couple of learning experiences now my group and I are definitely more comfortable with one another which makes taking intellectual risks and having academic conversations a lot easier. For the actual planning, we had a meeting where we discussed the layout and major themes we wanted to get across and we spent some time discussing the actual reading itself. After the meeting, I did some individual work in doing outside research on the background of the article and the author. After doing a bit of research, I composed three slides that summarized what I had learned and what I wanted my classmates to understand before passing it to Shaina to build off of my research and talk about the article itself. In addition I made the works cited.

For the actual teaching of the lesson I was responsible for screen sharing. This meant having to read through my teammates work a few times just to make sure I understood what each individual slide was about. In addition, I was responsible for teaching the first three slides that I had made which focused on the background of the article. 

Part 3

“Elizabeth Meyer.” School of Education, 2 Sept. 2020, http://www.colorado.edu/education/elizabeth-meyer. 

Meyer, E. (2007).  “But I’m Not Gay”: What Straight Teachers Need to Know about Queer Theory. In N. Rodriquez & W. Pinar (Eds.), Queering Straight Teachers: Discourse and Identity in Education. (pp. 15-32). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Rodriguez, Nelson M., and William F. Pinar. “Queering Straight Teachers: Discourse and Identity in Education.” Amazon, Peter Lang, 2007, http://www.amazon.com/Queering-Straight-Teachers-Complicated-Conversation/dp/082048847X. 

Part 4



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