Social (Justice) Studies
'This is me': Expressions of intersecting identity in an LGBTQ+ ethnic studies course by Laura Moorhead, Jeremy Jimenez
The Journal of Social Studies Research, January 1, 2021
Recently, social justice has been at the forefront when reframing curriculum in schools. How can educators intentionally use more inclusive practices in their everyday classrooms? In their study, Laura Moorhead and Jeremy Jimenez examine data from a high school in Northern California that began integrating into their social studies curriculum experiences of the LGBTQ+ community and an awareness of intersectionality. This portrait provides a potential model for other schools and shares practical identity awareness strategies. Through reflection and teacher/student interviews, the authors highlight the responsibility of educators to deepen student understanding of diversity and to help students critically examine ways of thinking. Interestingly, the authors push forward the creation of "spaces of becoming" where students can learn and open up about the complexities of their own intersecting identities and encounter productive challenges to their levels of comfort. A different form of identity mapping outlined in the article, with questions and coding, allows educators to map and better understand the context of their students. Teachers affirm that such intentionality transforms current thinking about identities beyond our own. Further, it allows students to be more critical of power dynamics and people's own privilege and identity when studying history.