LGBTQ Diversity Toolbox for Administrators Instructional Strategies

The following recommendations should be considered when preparing appropriate curriculum, instructional strategies, and programmatic planning for gifted LGBTQ students:

  • Confirm programming and assessments that accommodate the ways gifted youth with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities display intellectual, academic, creative, artistic, and leadership excellence (NAGC, 2015).
  • Ensure that curriculum, including curriculum for gifted youth, includes positive examples of individuals with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities (NAGC, 2015; Treat, 2008; Whittenburg & Treat, 2009).
  • Provide academic programming that empowers gifted LGBTQ to develop their unique learning potential and interests and includes sexual-minorities in the standard curriculum and whole-classroom discussions of sexual-minority topics (NAGC, 2015; Peterson & Richar, 2000; Whittenburg & Treat, 2009).
  • Understand that home/residence issues (not out at home, abusive family members, homelessness, economic/logistical challenges) may make attending class difficult, creating the need for tailored approaches to grading—including options that may not penalize for absences (Manzella, 2014; Sedillo, 2013).
  • Confirm that career education avoids stereotypes and encourages LGBTQ students to consider careers that are appropriate for their talents and interests (NAGC, 2015).
  • Include positive role models in gifted curriculum—experts and community members who have diverse sexual orientations and gender identities (e.g., guest speakers, mentors, job shadowing, internships with culturally-sensitive mentors, etc.) (NAGC, 2015; Sedillo, 2013; Treat, 2008, 2016).
  • Verify programming efforts address a range of academic, social-emotional, and career needs related to the healthy, affirming development of gifted students with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, including provisions for student safety, acceptance and appreciation of these students, and development of self-advocacy skills. (NAGC, 2015; Pearson, Muller, & Wilkinson, 2007).
  • Use gender-neutral language in school correspondence and documentation that respects diverse sexual orientations and gender identities of parents/guardians, educators, and students (NAGC, 2015; Sedillo, 2016; Whittenburg & Treat, 2009).
  • Work toward safe schools/safe zones to protect and nurture the unique sensitivities of Gifted LGBTQ youth (NAGC, 2015; Sedillo, 2016; Treat, 2008; Whittenburg & Treat, 2009).
  • Provide opportunities to participate in Gay, Straight, Alliances/Queer, Straight Alliances (GSA’s/QSA’s), (Sedillo, 2013; Whittenburg & Treat, 2009).
  • Develop policies to accommodate gender expression that may not conform to social stereotypes (NAGC, 2015).
  • Help families nurture LGBTQ students’ special strengths, healthy social and emotional development, and self-advocacy skills both in and out of school (NAGC, 2015, Sedillo, 2013).
  • Do not assume that just because you know someone is LGBTQ that you have permission to tell other people (Keener, 2013). Check with the LGBTQ student in private before revealing information that could result in harassment.