Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-07-10
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

University of Chicago teaching program starts LGBTQ initiative
by Melissa Wasserman
2018-02-28

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In a new initiative, University of Chicago's Urban Teacher Education Program ( UChicago UTEP ) is adding gender identity and sexuality to its curriculum.

UTEP prepares teachers for Chicago Public Schools while testing a model for urban teacher preparation. While it is a two-year master's degree program, UTEP describes itself a five-year experience learning program, called Elementary and Middle Grades Pathways. The pathways meet Illinois' new licensure structure and standards for teaching. This includes all core-subjects in self-contained elementary grades 1-6; as well as specific core subjects in middle grades five to eight. According to UTEP's website, three free years of post-graduation supports are offered after this two-year master of arts in teaching and licensure program.

"Our program in general calls itself a social-justice teacher-education program, so it's definitely always been oriented toward justice and in the interest of preparing teachers to really work in solidarity with parents and kids living in low-income neighborhoods in Chicago," said UTEP Co-Director Bill Kennedy. "We consider ourselves to be a reflective program in that we are trying to prepare teachers to be reflective practitioners. What we mean by that is critical reflective practitioners, not reflection with the absence of a look toward justice. 'How is my teacher improving the lives of kids and families, but also myself, too?' As a teacher, how are we working toward a deeper, critical consciousness?"

In its 16 years of operation, Kennedy said, the program has always had a focus on racial justice. Issues of race, class, and culture have always been front and center.

"That justice has always included that intersectional lens, but I would say, in the process of doing that over the years, I think we've addressed some issues of oppression in ways that are better than others," Kennedy said.

Kennedy explained that issues within sexuality and gender have existed for years, and the issues have sped up socially in the last couple years, which was a piece leading to the new LGBTQ initiative.

The point of the new initiative is to prepare teacher candidates to better support LGBTQ students and their families. In designing this curriculum, UTEP partnered with LGBTQ education organizations, particularly Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, and the University of Chicago's LGBTQ Student Life office to learn more about curriculum, classroom practices that create more inclusivity and more representation, terminology, respectful norms and barriers that LGBTQ students experience.

"I think it goes with a larger philosophy that we share in the program, which is these issues can and should be talked about at all ages," said Kennedy, who is a parent of two children. "It goes with this idea that we're really trying to dispel for teachers that these are not conversations you can have until kids are older. You can and should have these conversations. It looks different when you're talking about it in first grade or fourth grade or 12th grade, but kids need to be able to have conversations and as a result teachers need to be prepared to have conversations at all ages. What is the right conversation at each age is a skill that teachers need to learn and the place to learn it is in a teacher ed program that is committed to those kinds of conversations."

Kennedy added that, while recognizing the great work done over the time of the program, LGBTQ studies is an area that has been neglected.

"We've been a little more attune in the way that I think our society has to improving that work," said Kennedy. "So, this year in particular, after a year last year where we had our first graduate student who was non-gender conforming and preferred gender-neutral pronouns, we realized we needed to do some work as staff and also, we realized our students in general coming through the program needed to do some work as well in terms of improving their classrooms toward making more inclusive and empowering classrooms, especially for kids and families beyond racial justice."

The initiative is in the process of being rolled out and is now for second-year students. Additionally, Kennedy said after fading out, an affinity group has been resurrected. The group welcomes people who are either currently in the program or graduates of the program who identity as LGBTQ to meet on a regular basis. The goal, Kennedy described, is to provide a safe space for them to work through issues, talk and provide support for themselves.

"We currently have no staff members who identify as LGBTQ and that seems like a real problem for us in general, but also as a social-justice teacher ed program, so we really feel like we needed to do more," said Kennedy of the new LGBTQ efforts. "It's a priority for us in terms of hiring for the future and it's also something that we think about and this crosses intersectional lines like when you're trying to prepare teachers to be working toward a multicultural critically conscious classroom. You are molding yourself as a teacher, you're molding your own identity, how do you be there for students who don't share those identities, marginalized identities but still need support?"

"It really is consistent with this idea that social justice and working toward justice as teachers means all issues of justice," Kennedy said about how the initiative fits in with UTEP's mission. "So in part, it is a recognition that we ourselves need to practice what we preach and we have to engage in those conversations and prepare teachers to have those conversations.

"To be truly, looking at power and oppression in its broadest forms. So, it's partially that but it also just goes with the belief that we're trying to have teachers create caring and inclusive classrooms and so if we have graduate classrooms that are not caring and inclusive of our LGBTQ students, which I would say last year, we did not do a good enough job of creating that, that we need to improve that work. we need to make our classrooms feel inclusive, feel empowering for all students and if we're not doing that, we can't expect our teachers to do that."

For more information on UChicago UTEP and its LGBTQ initiative, visit utep.uchicago.edu and uei.uchicago.edu/ .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Teen performer talks Jimmys, being on Broadway 2019-07-10 - He was standing on an escalator in the lobby of a Times Square theater when the magnitude of what Jacob Simon was experiencing ...


Gay News

WORLD Canadian school law, Mexico City parade, Indian rape statute 2019-07-10 - The United Conservative government of new Alberta Premier Jason Kenney—promoted by some on the Canadian right as a model for the nation—has passed ...


Gay News

HRC Foundation releases report on child-welfare agencies 2019-06-26 - The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation released "Celebrating Everyday Change-Makers in Child Welfare"—a first-of-its-kind report highlighting more than 70 child-welfare agencies ...


Gay News

Windy City Times marks Pride Month with annual 30 Under 30 Awards 2019-06-26 - Windy City Times celebrates Pride Month with annual 30 Under 30 Awards . The ceremony takes pace Wed, June 26 at Polo Cafe ...


Gay News

Trevor Project gala raises more than $2M 2019-06-26 - On June 17, The Trevor Project hosted its 2019 TrevorLIVE New York gala at Cipriani Wall Street. With actress/comedian/writer Nicole Byer and actor/director/digital ...


Gay News

One Indiana school refuses to fire gay teacher for Catholic status, another fires 2019-06-26 - The Archbishop of Indianapolis asked a Jesuit school to fire a teacher who is in a same-sex marriage—but it refused to do so, ...


Gay News

DignityUSA reponds to Archbishop denying school "Catholic" label 2019-06-21 - Boston, MA. June 21, 2019. Leaders of DignityUSA, the world's oldest organization of Catholics supporting equality and full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, ...


Gay News

Point Foundation announces 2019 scholarships to 41 LGBTQ students 2019-06-19 - LOS ANGELES, JUNE 19, 2019 — Point Foundation ( Point ), the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ...


Gay News

About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble to debut '20/20' 2019-06-18 - The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the world premiere of 20/20—a dive into recent queer history devised ...


Gay News

Teens competing at Jimmy Awards 2019-06-17 - Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards' Marguerite Reed and Jacob Simon will be among 86 students being celebrated at the 11th Annual Jimmy ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.