During a brainstorming session for possible design responses to my topic area, I proposed the development of a service design in facilitating education of LGBTIQ matters. The original idea developed in the brainstorming session stated that I utilise the school environment to visualise the issues associated with LGBTIQ people, rights and discrimination or to use the school environment to visually create a solution to providing equally e.g.: transgender bathrooms.
Following discussion and a feedback session with tutorial members there were a few points raised. I learnt that I would need to research further into statistics and data surrounding LGBTIQ students as well as bullying and discrimination in schools. There is potential to research current teaching methods such as smart boards and engaging games and activities.
Project Title: LGBTIQ Classroom Toolkit
Practice Type: Service Design
Issue: Discrimination and bullying of LGBTIQ students in school is often brought on by a misunderstanding of what is considered ‘normal’ from a young age and that everyone is different. It is important to create a welcoming classroom environment by becoming attuned to normative thinking and challenging normative discourses (Gunn & Smith 2015).
Possible change: Introduce children to certain elements within LGBTIQ from a young age to allow them to see it as ‘normal’ so that students dealing with these issues in their own life grow up in the school environment feeling safe and accepted.
Design action: To design a toolkit to be used by teachers (particularly in the age bracket 18-25) to provide K-2 students with activities which allows them to think beyond ‘normal’ thinking about issues surrounding homosexuality and transgender identity in particular. Whilst this is just one small part of the LGBTIQ spectrum, this toolkit is a stepping stone for children as young as 5 or 6 who need to grow up knowing that it is okay for two men to be dads for example. As they get older and more mature they can continue to further their understanding of the LGBTIQ spectrum.
I propose to include the following elements in the LGBTIQ classroom toolkit
Close up of worksheet (above)
Gunn, A. & Smith, L. 2015, Sexual Cultures in Aotearoa NZ Education, Otago University Press, New Zealand