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Essay Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences

LGBTQIA+ youth as multicultural educators

By Barbara Dennis, Suraj Uttamchandani, Spencer Biery, and Aubrie Blauvelt, 2019

Multicultural education generally takes place as culturally competent adults prepare other adults to work with a variety of student youth. In this paper, we present an alternative that disrupts the pattern of adults teaching about youth. Our alternative has youth educating adults in ways that centre youth’s experiences and insights with schooling. We discuss the educative efforts of Chroma, a youth community for LGBTQIA+ and allied youth aged 12–20. First, we tell the story of Chroma’s educative efforts. Then, we discuss our methodology. Next, we discuss three key sets of insights about their educative efforts – anchoring expertise, meeting adult learners halfway, and barriers to learning. We raise questions inspired by these findings. At last, we conclude with a deconstruction of the adult–youth binary in multicultural education and ethnographic research. KEYWORDS: LGBT Queer educators, youth, adult non binary, youth educators

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