INTERPLAY BETWEEN THE RACIAL AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION DIVIDE IN HIGHER INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING
California State University, San Bernardino (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
This study aimed at characterizing the influence of race on the learning experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in institutions of higher learning in the United States.
A mixed study approach was used, which involved evaluation of a total of 21 existing literature and a survey study that involved 97 respondents drawn from five institutions of higher learning in the United States. The respondents included students (73) and teachers (24). The selected students were from different sexual Orientation, with 39 of the 73 being from the LGBT community.
The study observed that LGBT students face various learning challenges and the racial background was observed to mediate the degree of the observed challenges. It was observed that significantly higher number of LGBT students (67%, p = 0.033) experience poor teacher-student relationship while 73% reported challenges in being incorporated into team-based learning groups dominated by non-LGBT students. The study also observed that 66% of the LGBT felt that they are not involved in the curriculum formulation. The racial background was observed to significantly predict the learning experience among the LGBT students (t = 2.342, p = 0.04) with minority black LGBT students being observed to face significantly higher level of prejudice and above mentioned learning disparities (p = 0.05) The study also observed that among the LGBT students, male students experienced significantly higher challenges such as poor relationship with teachers and lack of involvement in learning groups dominated by non-LGBT students. The study observed that the learning disparities faced by the LGBT students is mainly associated with the lack of appropriate composite strategy to address the influence of curriculum and culture constraints on the learning process.
Based on the outcome, the study suggests that the learning experience among LGBT students and especially those from minority racial groups can be enhanced by factoring in the race dynamics in the existing strategies that aim at incorporating LGBT interests in the learning process.
Keywords: Race, LGBT, Sexual orientation.