ERIC Number: EJ918920
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 21
Teaching "Trans Issues": An Intersectional and Systems-Based Approach
Boucher, Michel J.
New Directions for Teaching and Learning, n125 p65-75 Spr 2011
Transgender people are becoming increasingly visible in popular culture, academia, and national politics. University and college administrators are struggling at every level with how to address the needs of trans-identified staff people, faculty members, and students, all of whom are increasingly becoming open, vibrant participants in university communities. Across the nation, trans students also are pushing university administrators to address the ways in which institutions of higher education, like most institutions in the United States, systematically marginalize and often exclude trans people from full participation in college and university life. As transgender identity increasingly becomes understood as a social identity of an oppressed minority, the framing of trans identity in academia is changing and professors from across disciplines are thinking about how to incorporate "trans issues" in non-pathological ways within their own course curriculums. In this chapter, the author argues that an intersectional systems-based framework for teaching "trans issues" can help students understand that this topic extends beyond individual identities, forms and effects of physical transition, and prejudices that can be fixed by an increase in tolerance. Students come to see how institutional policies and practices undergird and reinforce social prejudices in ways that have severe social and economic repercussions for most gender non-conforming people and exacerbate race and class inequalities. This approach can also facilitate a shift in the position of "trans issues" as marginal, special issues topics in a few disciplines to an incorporation of "trans issues" as part of a variety of courses taught across the disciplines.
Descriptors: Popular Culture, College Faculty, Higher Education, Sexual Identity, College Administration, Student Diversity, Diversity (Faculty), Social Attitudes, Minority Groups, Social Bias, Gender Issues, College Students, Consciousness Raising, Racial Bias, Social Class
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A