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Academia ‘has ignored LGBT issues’

Jessica Geen August 12, 2011
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A new National Union of Students report says that LGBT issues have been “actively cut out” of education and academia.

The report, Liberation, Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum, says lessons in all subjects should try to be more “inclusive”, with focus on LGBT issues, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.

NUS LGBT officers Vicki Baars and Alan Bailey said: “As an LGBT campaign we believe that LGBT issues have been actively cut out of education and academia due to LGBTphobia.

“The impact the LGBT movement has had on society, the contributions of LGBT people throughout history, and the very existence of LGBT people here and now are very rarely seen.

“By making the curriculum LGBT-inclusive, we help to challenge the normative attitudes regarding sexual orientation and gender. This will help the fight against discrimination in and around our institutions and help familiarise people with what it is to be LGBT.”

The report also says that subjects such as maths and science could be more inclusive.

Usman Ali, vice-president (higher education) of the NUS, said that if he had been taught about Arabic mathematician (al-Hasan) Ibn Al-Haytham, he would have shown more interest in sciences.

Calling for tutors to implement “diversity audits”, the report concludes: “Some reluctance to change… may be due to the idea that the whole system should not be changed just for the benefit of a small group of students.

“Actually, an inclusive curriculum benefits all students. By enabling students to reflect on issues of liberation, equality, and diversity, an inclusive curriculum better prepares all students for life in a diverse society.”

Related topics: Education, gay lessons, LGBT students, nus

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