ERIC Number: ED435462
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Gay Parents/Straight Schools: Building Communication and Trust.
Casper, Virginia; Schultz, Steven B.
There are few bodies of research that can inform thinking about the education of young children with respect to gay-headed families. This 3-year ethnographic study used interviews with lesbian and gay parents of 3 to 7 year-olds, their children's teacher and the school administrator, and observations of the children to examine the relationship between gay parents and educators. Chapter 1 lays a foundation for understanding why homosexuality is perceived as a threat to the inherent goals of early childhood education and describes the research methods used. Chapter 2 examines children's experiences as a crucial aspect of how they come to understand families. Chapter 3 presents educators' viewpoints regarding their first experiences with people different from themselves, including gay-headed families. Chapter 4 uses dance as a metaphor for a communication process and traces the ways in which families become known to schools as lesbian or gay. Chapter 5 puts forth the idea that gender identity, roles, and sexual orientation are sharply different yet highly linked issues that require a frame of reference that moves across the entire life-span. This chapter considers classical theoretical foundations about gender development, and contrasts observations and ideas of educators and gay parents regarding gender-nonconformist play in young children. Chapter 6 explores factors affecting the curriculum and offers examples of the ways some teachers have thought about and constructed inclusive approaches with children. Chapter 7 makes arguments about changes needed in education from preschool through graduate education, in on-the-job training, and in professional development. Contains approximately 250 references. (KB)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Early Childhood Education, Ethnography, Family School Relationship, Family (Sociological Unit), Homosexuality, Parent Attitudes, Parent School Relationship, Parents, Sex Role, Sexual Identity, Teacher Attitudes, Young Children
Teachers College Press, P.O. Box 20, Williston, VT 05495-0020 ($19.95). Tel: 800-575-6566 (Toll Free); Fax: 802-864-7626 ($19.95).
Publication Type: Books; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A