Teacher Education For All!

Creating Learning Environments that are Inclusive of Sexual and Gender Diversity

tefa-apple-logoUBC is taking the lead on building capacity for faculty, staff and students in UBC’s Teacher Education Program to provide an inclusive culture, work place, and learning environment. Working together, we are placing special emphasis on a) enhancing the quality of learning to become an educator in a respectful environment, b) building the Faculty of Education community’s capacity for LGB/T2/Q inclusion through the BEd curriculum and Faculty practices at all levels, and c) modeling inclusionary practices in education that can be replicated in schools by BEd graduates.

We know from considerable research that optimal student learning and engagement can only happen when learners feel safe, welcome and included. Recent BC Human Rights Code legislation and Ministry of Education school-policy requirements make the timing of Teacher Education For All (TEFA) particularly appropriate. The Every Teacher Project (2015) found that, while 85% of educators approve of education related to sexual orientation and gender identify (SOGI), only 34% of teachers in the first 5 years of their career reported that they felt prepared.

Steve Mulligan and Hélène Frohard-Dourlent present to UBC teacher candidates

Steve Mulligan and Hélène Frohard-Dourlent present to UBC teacher candidates

With funding support from the ARC Foundation and UBC’s Equity and Inclusion Office, the Faculty of Education is clarifying its commitment to SOGI inclusion in teacher education by:

  • reviewing policies and resources, including those related to inclusive spaces,
  • mapping content within BEd courses to identify SOGI inclusion and gaps,
  • delivering a SOGI Inclusion in Teacher Education professional learning and communication campaign,
  • delivering workshops (in collaboration with UBC units and community organizations) for faculty, staff, faculty advisors, alumni and teacher candidates,
  • holding an end-of-year Teacher Education for All Expo event to foster respectful dialogue for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

These efforts are intended to advance a community’s professional learning and, in particular, enhance teacher candidates’ understandings so they may in turn initiate positive spaces for minority sexual orientation and gender identity youth and educators in schools.