Creating a haven : how one art teacher promotes acceptance for LGBTQ students in the art classroom
Rabalais, Hannah Lenore
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The purpose of this study was to investigate how one art teacher in Nevada promotes acceptance for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) students in her classroom. Through case study methodology, the researcher observed the high school classroom for five consecutive days. With a focus on pedagogy, classroom management, curriculum, and interactions in the classroom, data collected included field notes, interviews and images of the classroom. The researcher interviewed the teacher and four former students that self-identify as LGBTQ. The collected data was analyzed through in- vivo coding, descriptive coding, axially coding, and visual analysis. The results from this study demonstrated that the teacher promoted acceptance through four strategies. The first strategy was to incorporate the work of artists that self-identify as LGBTQ to provide positive role models for students. The second strategy was to establish a rapport with students through humor. The students reported that the sarcastic banter encouraged friendship between the students and teacher. The third strategy performed by the teacher was to treat the students as adults, with respect, on a regular basis. Offering the students respect, and accountability, gave the students a sense of ownership over the space. Lastly, the teacher promoted acceptance for LGBTQ students by promoting acceptance for every student. By creating a space where everyone was respected, from conservative Mormon students, to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and queer students. The classroom operated as a haven for all individuals, including LGBTQ students. These strategies are shared so that art teachers may have a better understandings of how to create a safe learning environment.