May 19, 2011 – On the occasion of the celebration of IDAHO during a panel discussion with UNESCO officials, GALE presented the first version of her international toolkit on working with schools.
The toolkit contains 12 tools for school consultants, principals, teachers, students and parents which help to integrate adequate attention of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender topics in curricula and school policies.
The toolkit is called 1.0, because GALE intends to continuously update it with improved and new tools.
The introduction of LGBT issues in schools is not the most obvious theme for schools. In most schools, sexuality in general and LGBT issues specifically are taboo and in many cases even forbidden. This kit aims to provide tools to help schools, school support institutions and LGBT activist organizations to deal with this subject.
The toolkit has five parts:
1. Background information; project implementation tools
2. Tools for managers and authorities
3. Tools for staff
4. Tools for students
5. Tools for parents
Project implementation tools
Activist organizations are looking for ways on how to access schools. Because school systems differ considerably across countries, the strategies also vary considerably. In some countries, the focus should be directly on schools themselves, on others, a national advocacy campaign to get access or to change the nuclear objectives or curriculum may be a more effective strategy. This section of the toolkit offers a range of tools on how to start a strategy or a concrete project.
Tools for managers and authorities
It is often most useful to work closely with the stakeholders who have real power to change the school environment. These are often (but not always) the school (location) managers or principals. In other cases local school authorities have governing power. This section offers tools to convince such stakeholder of the need for change and guidelines on how to do it.
Tools for staff
Teachers and other non-teaching staff have direct contact with students and they can have the most profound effect on the creation of a sustainable safe and inspiring learning environment. This section provides tools for them and for teacher trainers.
Tools for students
In lessons, teachers may need materials for students to hand out. This section provides some model texts which can be edited for use by teachers.
Students may also want to take action themselves. For example, they can start a gay/straight alliance (GSA) or they can plan short actions in the school. This section provides suggestions for student action and participation.
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