Historically, schools of education have not supported teacher candidates to move into the field confidently prepared to affirm LGBTQ youth and to address gender and sexual diversity. In collaboration with our colleagues in the School of Education at CU Boulder, AQE has worked to integrate topics of gender and sexual diversity across program areas and teacher-preparation coursework. We believe that schools of education must play a central role in advancing the movement toward safer, more affirming schools.
Given the shortage of LGBTQ-focused professional learning opportunities, AQE designed a professional development model for supporting educator learning of gender and sexual diversity. Organized as critical contexts of professional learning, our “Teacher Institutes” support local educators to develop habits of heart and mind necessary for creating safe, affirming spaces for all students and families.
AQE aims to support school communities by providing professional development not only for teachers, but also for administrators, staff, and families. While we believe that providing support for teachers is critical, we advocate for a “whole community” model in which all stakeholders are supported and held accountable for creating safe, affirming schools.
AQE is committed to partnering with educators and school communities to generate knowledge of gender and sexual diversity-affirming practices in education that can inform local needs as well as research and praxis more broadly.