Special Issue of <em>Educational Researcher</em> Examines LGBTQ Issues in Education

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Tony Pals, tpals@aera.net
(202) 238-3235, (202) 288-9333 (cell)

Special Issue of Educational Researcher
Examines LGBTQ Issues in Education

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 6, 2017 — The American Educational Research Association (AERA) today published a special edition of its peer-reviewed journal Educational Researcher (ER) devoted to examining pressing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) issues in education.

Articles from leading scholars cover a range of topics, including LGBTQ homelessness, student-led Gay-Straight Alliances as settings for inclusion and development, issues facing African-American LGBTQ students, and research classification errors and bias regarding sexual minority youths, among others.

“Legal, social, and policy shifts in support of LGBTQ people have caused educators and education researchers to address these issues with a sense of urgency,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “Now more than ever, broad research on issues impacting LGBTQ students is necessary for promoting safe, inclusive environments throughout all American schools.”

“This special issue of ER considers the key questions, the best available evidence emerging, and remaining gaps in the research literature,” said Levine.

“Students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning face unique challenges at school that may elevate their level of educational, psychological and health risk,” note Joseph Cimpian (New York University) and Carolyn Herrington (Florida State University), editors of the special issue, in their introduction. “Our hope is that this special issue can help stimulate important conversations about a wide array of pressing issues for LGBTQ youth and what we as a research community can do.”

The complete contents of the special issue, listed below, are provided at no cost by AERA.

Special Issue of Educational Researcher on LGBTQ Issues in Education

Editors’ Introduction
Introducing a Methodological Research Collection on Pressing Issues for LGBTQ Students,” by Joseph Cimpian & Carolyn Herrington

Cimpian and Herrington raise fundamental questions about the current state of educational contexts and supports for LGBTQ youth, as well as about the current state of research methods and the politics around methodology.

Feature Articles
Coming Out and Leaving Home: A Policy and Research Agenda for LGBT Homeless Students,” by William Tierney & James Ward

Tierney and Ward draw attention to an understudied and intersectional population: homeless LGBT youth. They provide an overview of estimates of the population of LGBT homeless youth, as well as a review of the literature noting the particular circumstances of these young people and their heightened potential for psychological and physical risks.
Poteat and his colleagues present a series of recommendations for research on Gay-Straight Alliances, which are student-led and adult-sponsored school groups for supporting and celebrating gender and sexual minority youth.
Cimpian argues that much of the quantitative literature on LGBTQ youth falls prey to many distinct, and often unaddressed or even unnoticed, sources of bias that lead to inaccurate estimates of the risk and deviance of LGBTQ youth.
Mayo calls into question the forms of research that have been conducted on LGBTQ youth and legitimized as research in the education and social sciences, noting the need for a broader space for the insights that can be drawn from the humanities and from disciplinary traditions.
Love focuses on intersectionality, arguing for the need to explore the lived experiences of black queer youth. She urges scholars to be open to messiness in their research, to embrace the precarious, and not to approach research presuming linear or static phenomena.
Brockenbrough provides a critical review of LGBTQ Issues in Education: Advancing a Research Agenda, an edited book published by AERA in 2015. Brockenbrough acknowledges that the book is a useful summary and review of current research literature on LGBTQ issues in education. He also raises some criticisms not only of the book itself, but of the state of the field which is reflected in the book.
About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.