Searching for common ground: Two teachers discuss their support for and concerns about the inclusion of LGBTQ issues in English methods courses

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Cramer, Katherine Mason
Harrell, Carol

Mason, K., Harrell, C. (2012). "Searching for Common Ground: Two Teachers Discuss Their Support for and Concerns About the Inclusion of LGBTQ Issues in English Methods Courses." Kansas English, 95 (1), 22-36.


The genesis of this article grew out of our shared experiences working with preservice English teachers and our differing perspectives regarding the benefits and challenges of including the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) topics in our methods courses. When we first discussed the possibility of a point-counterpoint article, we were somewhat nervous about the prospect. But we also wondered if sharing our discussion of a topic not yet fully agreed upon by all would benefit others. As we thought further, we decided that maybe two teachers could publically share a conversation, perhaps not to change minds but to model civil discourse and mutually agreed upon allowance for difference of opinion without disregard for another's personhood. We agree with the organizers of comedian Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity who write that "shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat - [and] that the loudest voices shouldn't be the only ones that get heard" ("Rally to Restore Sanity"). With those ideas in mind, so begins our civil conversation about the inclusion of LGBTQ topics in classrooms and the ethical implications of that decision.

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Open access.