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From the Dress-Up Corner to the Senior Prom: Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in PreK-12 Schools

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Very few PreK-12 teachers are adequately trained to address thegender identity and sexual identity of their students in a developmentally-appropriate and pedagogically-sound manner. Yet responsible adults—parents, educators, pre-service teachers, coaches, religious instructors, camp administrators and school counselors— must help children navigate the inherently diverse, increasingly complex world of gender and sexuality in the twenty-firstcentury.

From the Dress-Up Corner to ...

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From the Dress-Up Corner to the Senior Prom: Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in PreK-12 Schools

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Overview

Very few PreK-12 teachers are adequately trained to address thegender identity and sexual identity of their students in a developmentally-appropriate and pedagogically-sound manner. Yet responsible adults—parents, educators, pre-service teachers, coaches, religious instructors, camp administrators and school counselors— must help children navigate the inherently diverse, increasingly complex world of gender and sexuality in the twenty-firstcentury.

From the Dress-Up Corner to the Senior Prom is a practical, forward thinking resource foranyone involved in educating children and adolescents. Jennifer Bryan takes readers into classrooms, administrative meetings, recess, parent conferences, and the annual pep rally to witness the daily manifestations of Gender and Sexuality Diversity at school. She provides a coherent framework for understanding what readers "see," and invites them to use a contemporary, heart/mind perspective as they consider the true developmental needs of all elementary, middle, and high school students. The book features thoughtful questions, models of dialogue, accessible lesson plans, and many pedagogical strategies. At the heart of this book, though, are the evocative stories from teachers, students, and parents that Bryan has listened to over the span of her career. These personal anecdotes bring the comprehensive explorations of this seminal work to life.

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Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Meyer Ph.D
If you are interested in the role of gender and sexuality in schools, the only thing you need to know is: read this book! It is a long overdue resource that is rich with examples from PreK-12 classrooms across the country. The student and teacher voices framed by Dr. Bryan's research and expertise combine to form a powerful tool that will help educators everywhere make their schools and classrooms more inclusive and freer of all forms of bias. This well-researched text is strengthened by pedagogically meaningful stories, lesson plans, and interventions that offer guidance and support to educators engaged in this work. Her valuable insights and ideas will certainly help reduce the harmful impacts of homophobia, transphobia, and heteronormativity in schools everywhere.
Arthur Lipkin Ed.D
A brave, lucid, and insightful exploration of the intersections of gender, sexuality, and the experiences of K-12 students. Informed by scholarship and years of school experience, Jennifer Bryan has written a superb manual for faculty, administrators, and families on how to navigate safe passages for all students. Following Bryan’s advice not to run from these issues, but to embrace them conscientiously, will help educators and parents meet the challenges of raising healthy children in a nation where gender and sex have become tools of commerce.
Patrick F. Bassett
From the Dress-Up Corner to the Senior Prom: Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in Pre-K to 12 Schools, by Jennifer Bryan, is a must read book for any and all teachers and parents interested in getting their hands around gender stereotyping:what it is, how it's limiting to all, and how to teach children to overcome it, towards the end of embracing gender and sexual diversity in the same way enlightened cultures embrace racial, ethnic, class, and religious diversity.The copious anecdotes alone are worth the price of admission to a future world where we transcend millennia of assumptions about 'what boys do' vs. 'what girls do' toward a more psychologically and socially androgynous and balanced future. Readers will find themselves thinking time and again, 'It never occurred to me that our kids might be saying, and wondering, and exploring these things. How would I address that situation when it arises in my classroom?' This book of innumerable stories and wise counsel is also the new definitive authority reference book on terminology and resources on the topic.

The central question Bryan addresses—what to teach about gender and sexual identity diversity in schools—is articulated perfectly by a fourth-grade teacher: 'The school community needs a point of view on these issues. Then we all need to support this view.' Schools and teachers that don't address the question collectively as a school community will address it, at their own risk, haphazardly and poorly individually.

Sam Intrator Ph.D
What we teach in our school curriculum helps shape the minds, attitudes, and identities of children. Conversely, what we omit or leave unexamined matters as well. In this carefully researched, courageous book, Jennifer Bryan cogently argues that despite the centrality of gender and sexuality to our core relationships and identity, schools rarely contend with these topics. Bryan is persuasive, forthright, and sensitive in challenging us toformulate a more inclusive and complex approach to addressing gender and sexuality diversity in school.As a teacher, I have often shied away from topics of gender and sexuality. I fear that I don't know enough or that traversing these topics is too fraught and dangerous. Reading this book challenged me to re-think my tendency to sidestep these issues and provided me the conceptual vocabulary and practical strategies to be a better teacher for all my students.
John Peterman
The issue of safety for GLBTQI students in our schools today is a matter of life and death, not a matter of politics.Jennifer Bryan's book is essential reading for anyone directly or indirectly involved in the education of children today.As the Head of a pre-K through 8th grade independent school, I found valuable information contained in this book for faculty, parents, and trustees alike. Whatever your role is in the process of education, Jennifer Bryan's book provides real life examples along with excellent solutions, making it a useful tool in the classroom and at home. Bryan does not shy away from the conflict, rather she encourages us to face the prejudices and inequities that exist with confidence, candor, and even humor. This book is a must read now!
Rethinking Schools
Jennifer Bryan's From the Dress-Up Corner to the Senior Prom: Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in PreK–12 Schools is a wonderful basic resource. The book begins with background information, presented in a way that is accessible and unintimidating. The chapters that follow are rich in specific examples of lessons, classroom discussions, reflections, and quotations from teachers that highlight the importance of this work.
Sex Roles: A Journal of Research
Chapters are divided neatly into helpful sections with boxed in definitions and reviews of major points at the end of each section in a part titled, 'What to Remember'. This makes me believe that the expectation was that this book will be used in pre-service teaching courses and I would recommend that as well. How else might we get this book into schools except to have new teachers bring it with them to their first teaching positions. School counselors and social workers might also want to have it at hand. Each chapter also has 'Additional Resources' like the 'Standards of Care for Children and Adolescents with Gender Dysphoria' as well as activities teachers can use in the classroom. As a resource for educators, the book provides an abundance of material for curricula and a variety of teaching approaches. . . .[T]he book will be useful to those outside of the field of education. Thus, those who teach Women’s Studies courses as well as Psychology of Women/Gender courses will want to use this book to show students the connection between scholarship and activism and urge them to work towards social justice in any institution. From the Dress-Up Corner to the Senior Prom is a practical book, a useful book. It’s a book in which an educational consultant is sharing all her strategies, her, if you will, tricks of the trade. . . .[Looking] through the book to refind an interesting story or activity leads to new discoveries. And in a book like this, that can be very rewarding.
Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Readers of this book will be both inspired and equipped to make important changes in students’ lives. Throughout the book Bryan asks educators to look toward their schools’ missions as a guide-post when thinking about GSD. Most schools’ missions include language about nurturing the whole child, safety for every child, and providing all children with an enriching learning environment. Bryan reminds us that the responsibility for protecting children is more than physical safety. To learn and thrive students need to be seen and recognized as themselves and to fit into the social landscape of their school. This book is a practical guide to aid schools in their admirable missions.
Arthur Lipkin
A brave, lucid, and insightful exploration of the intersections of gender, sexuality, and the experiences of K-12 students. Informed by scholarship and years of school experience, Jennifer Bryan has written a superb manual for faculty, administrators, and families on how to navigate safe passages for all students. Following Bryan’s advice not to run from these issues, but to embrace them conscientiously, will help educators and parents meet the challenges of raising healthy children in a nation where gender and sex have become tools of commerce.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607099796
  • Publisher: R&L Education
  • Publication date: 3/23/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 386
  • Sales rank: 370,137
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Bryan, PhD, author of the children's book The Different Dragon, is a psychologist and educational consultant with over twenty-eight years of experience working with administrators, teachers, board members, parents, students, and school communities. She is a specialist in Gender and Sexuality Diversity and a consultant to PreK-12 schools throughout the United States. Bryan lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with her partner and two children.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction
Chapter One: Gender and Sexuality Diversity at School: What Educators Need to Know and Then Some
Section I: GSD: Developmentally Appropriate Practice
Section II: (Biological) Sex: Defining the Terms; Learning the Language; Grasping the Concepts
Section III: Gender: Defining the Terms; Learning the Language; Grasping the Concepts
Section IV: Sexuality: Defining the Terms; Learning the Language; Grasping the Concepts
Chapter Two: Heteronormativity at School: Questioning the “Natural Order” of Things
Chapter Three: A Framework for Engaging GSD at School: Educational Mission; Best Pedagogical Practices
Section I: Educational Mission
Section II: Standards of Good Practice
Chapter Four: GSD at School: Understanding What You See; Thinking Critically About What You See
Section I: What We See; How We See
Section II: GSD at School
Chapter Five: GSD Professional Development: “Learnings” that Lead to Best Practices
Section I: Critical Approaches to GSD Professional Development
Section II: Creating the Context for Learning
Section III: Program Evaluation: What Did I Learn? What Should We Do Next?
Chapter Six: GSD in Early Childhood and Elementary Education: Strategies, Application and Curriculum
Section I: Communication Strategies
Section II: Developmental Tasks, Units of Study, GSD Lessons
Chapter Seven: GSD in Middle and High School Education: Development, Safety, and Curriculum
Section I: Developmental Considerations
Section II: “Safety” for GLBTQI Students at School
Section III: Curriculum Integration
Chapter Eight: Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Providing Foundations for GSD Literacy
Chapter Nine: Leadership, Policies and Programs: Supporting GSD Education at Schools (Not for Administrators Only!)
Section I: The Challenge of Effective Leadership
Section II: Policies and Philosophies
Section III: Creating and Implementing Policies
Section IV: Programs that Support Gender and Sexuality Diversity Education
Chapter Ten: Personal and Professional Identity in GSD Education: Teaching as a “Whole Person”
Section I: Teacher Identity Development: Where Professional and Personal Meet
Section II: The Visibility Dilemma
Section III: GLBTQI Educators and Simple Visibility
Section IV: The Role of Not-GLBTQI Educators
References

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2014

    Excellent guide for modern educators and parents

    This is an excellent resource for educators and parents that provides detailed research and real-world examples illustrating the importance of teaching about gender and sexuality diversity at every developmental level. It is well worth wading through extensive lists of terminology in the introductory chapters in order to fully appreciate the rich and detailed discussions of incorporating this material into the curriculum at different levels. Peppered equally with academic citations and quotes from teachers and students, this book was obviously a labor of love. The author manages to be warm, engaging and inclusive of a variety of points of view, without losing focus on the pedagogical value of the material being presented. This belongs on the shelf of school administrators and teachers everywhere, and is also accessible enough to be a helpful guide for engaged parents.

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