Students’ Perspectives on LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum

Shannon D. Snapp, Hilary Burdge, Adela C. Licona, Raymond L. Moody, Stephen T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Implementing curriculum that is inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) people has the potential to create an equitable learning environment. In order to learn more about students’ experiences of LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, 26 high school students with diverse racial/ethnic, sexual, and gender identities were recruited from the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Network in California. Students participated in focus groups conducted by telephone by GSA staff, sharing their experiences of LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum in school. Qualitative coding methods, including grounded theory, were used to identify themes and interpret students’ responses. Data revealed that LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum was most often taught in social sciences and humanities courses as stand-alone lessons. LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum rarely met standards of social justice education, though opportunities for critical conversations about systemic oppression regularly emerged. For instance, teachers often failed to intervene in LGBTQ bullying and missed teachable moments conducive to inclusive curriculum. Some students learned positive LGBTQ lessons and highlighted the ways such curriculum reflected their identities and created a supportive school climate. Implications for equitable education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-265
Number of pages17
JournalEquity and Excellence in Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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