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ERIC Number: EJ1147195
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2368-4526
Broadening Understanding: Students' Perspectives on Respecting All Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities in University Classrooms
Pierre, Danielle
Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, v10 p101-115 2017
Oppression and marginalization of people who identify as LGBTQ+ persist on university campuses despite their right to be free of discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code. In an attempt to highlight the real and detrimental impacts of normative heterosexual and cisgender ideologies on Ontarian students the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) has committed itself to elevating student voices on this issue. OUSA conducted a mixed-methods, primary research project to provide understanding of the opinions and experiences of LGBTQ+ identifying students. Student responses were collected using an online survey, which yielded 311 valid responses from university students across Ontario. While most results were positive, findings that a fifth of respondents felt uncomfortable in campus life, accompanied by responses implicating instructors as a source of this discomfort, suggest there is an on-going need for educators to work harder to incorporate diverse perspectives about both gender and sexual orientation into university curricula. Content analysis of open-ended survey responses was used to describe the barriers students experienced. Diversity orientation and course content were referenced most often among open-ended responses. Diversity orientation was also most often cited as a barrier and problematic assumptions were identified as barriers more often than course content. Training was most often identified as a solution, suggesting this is a strategy that faculty can adopt to increase their diversity orientation and decrease problematic assumptions. Educators must recognize their responsibility for facilitating safe, empowering classrooms; this research offers seven strategies for accomplishing this goal.
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 1280 Main Street West, Mills Library Room 504, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A