Streets Aligned – Supporting educators towards a LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Education
Streets aligned is a two-year project aimed at enhancing the skills of educators, trainers, youth workers, and teachers in the framework of LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Education. The partnership develops a solid, multi-agent upskilling path, with the will to provide effective answers to the most recent indications of the European Commission for Education, filling up the void that characterizes the training of the aforementioned professionals regard the LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Education. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation should have no place in our Union. Nonetheless, at least 60% of European citizens have undergone or witnessed discrimination based on sexual orientation (List of Actions by the Commission to Advance LGBTI equality, 2020). A more focused perspective does not yield more reassuring data: for example, in European secondary schools, at least 25% of victims of bullying are bullied for reasons related to sexuality and / or gender (Swearer, Turner, Givens, Pollack, 2008; LGBTQI Inclusive Education Report, 2018). Educational environments are therefore placed at the center of the problem due to their cultural and social relevance. The available literature, which is not very extensive by itself, also underlines the presence of systematic removals and silences, for example, in the Educational Plans and in training activities. The data are, therefore, disheartening, underlining an authentic denial of a positive confrontation on sexuality and sexual identities.
Ideological and political motivations, but above all, the lack of a solid and shared educative plan for the cultural enhancement of our community determined the absence of a pedagogy aimed at preparing educators, trainers, youth workers, teachers in the field of LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Education. Little has been done to integrate sexual diversity, critical and theoretical framework and active LGBTIQ+ policies into the training and curriculum of educators. The numerous exceptions in Italy and in Europe are, in fact often due to the will of individual educational centers that have activated educational pacts and alliances with organizations engaged in the fight against intolerance, discrimination and homophobia. The project’s priorities reflect the desire to build new educational alliances, no less effective than other and more usual forms of activism. The need is to create holistic courses, which are able to better prepare those who work in the field of education. Absence, silences and removing have dramatic effects: gaps and the absence of any upskilling activity facilitate the presence of negative, violent attitudes to the detriment of LGBTIQ+ communities, producing invisible minorities as well. It is the desire of the partnership to facilitate the integration of these thematic units and, in addition, to favour the acquisition of an attitude towards the critical re-vision of daily educational activities. The partnership is an alliance between private associations, public educational and training networks and European research bodies of excellence in the field of LGBTIQ+ and Gender Sensed Inclusive Education, to develop an optimal exchange of best practices in order to build inclusive and safe educational environments. In fact, the partners believe that the best strategy for integrating LGBTIQ+ active policies must have roots in educational and training arenas, thus turning to educators, trainers, youth workers, teachers: all those who, due to their profession, are closely in contact with young and / or adult learners, with the duty and responsibility to train them, hopefully towards a culture of inclusion, integration and equality.
The goal of Streets aligned is to create a “sense of urgency”: homophobia, bullying, and intolerance are problems that permeate our daily life, as well as misunderstanding and the removal of otherness, especially in the educational field. However, these issues can and must be addressed through new pacts and coalitions, sharing a new vision of education and producing active implementations with highlight educators’ relationships with students. The project is a multi-agent, multi-action upskilling process which supports the professionals of education in the field of LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Education. The plan is not only to integrate the notion of diversity but to act in an experiential, individual, autobiographical way, developing transformative strategies for the benefit of both educators and educational spaces.
Streets Aligned will produce the following Project results:
PR1 Research – Analysis: Towards Inclusive LGBTIQ + Education
PR2 LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Education Toolkit: actions, resources and activities for educators
PR3 Policy Recommendation
PR4 LGBTIQ+ Sensed Education: Pilot Curriculum
IDRISI CCULTURA E SVILUPPO, Coordinator – Italy
ARISTA DEKA – Cyprus
Genderove informacni centrum NORA – Czech Republic
Istituto Istruzione Superiore Statale Pio La Torre – Italy