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New Partnership to Broaden Inclusion of LGBT Awareness in Teacher Preparation

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(February 24, 2014, Washington, D.C.) The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) have formed a partnership to support teacher preparation programs in including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in their curriculum.

Research suggests that positive, supportive and inclusive classroom environments lead to better academic and psychosocial outcomes for students. While some teacher preparation programs incorporate LGBT-inclusive content and awareness into their curriculum, there has been no deliberate, comprehensive effort to expand the practice throughout the profession.

"As instances of bullying in schools persist, it is more critical than ever that we equip teachers with the knowledge and confidence to address discrimination and other behaviors that threaten student safety or distract from the community of mutual respect required for successful learning," said Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., president and CEO of AACTE. "Through this important partnership with GLSEN and ATE, AACTE will gain critical data so that we can provide our members with resources to help them integrate LGBT issues into their curriculum and prepare teachers to create inclusive, supportive learning environments for all students."

Through the partnership, GLSEN, AACTE and ATE will aim to:

  1. Improve the knowledge base regarding the state of teacher preparation on LGBT issues through a national research study.
  2. Develop programmatic efforts and/or resources, informed by the research findings, to further inclusion of LGBT issues in teacher preparation. 

"We are thrilled to be working with the two leading teacher education associations in a first-of-its-kind national partnership to improve teacher preparation related to LGBT issues," said Eliza Byard, Ph.D., executive director of GLSEN. "LGBT students and families all too often face discrimination, stigmatization and even violence in school. Supportive, effective teachers can make a tremendous difference. Unfortunately, our research shows that many teachers are not prepared to support LGBT youth or address anti-LGBT bias in their classrooms. This new collaboration will help to close that gap through rigorous research and evidence-based programming. We will ensure that teacher educators can prepare our country's future classroom leaders to effectively teach all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, so that LGBT youth and families have the equal access to education they deserve, free from bias and violence."

"The Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) is excited about the partnership we have established with AACTE and GLSEN to infuse teacher education with LGBT-related content," said Nancy Gallavan, Ph.D., president of ATE. "This partnership aligns with the ATE vision that promotes advocacy, equity, leadership and professionalism for teacher educators in all settings and supports quality education for all learners at all levels."

The organizations expect to roll out the initial survey to their members later this year. For more information on ways AACTE is working to support all learners, visit www.aacte.org or AACTE's blog, Ed Prep Matters, at www.edprepmatters.net.

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AACTE: Serving Learners
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE's reach and influence fuel its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education. For more information, visit www.aacte.org.



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