The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a significant grant to Professor Anne Valk (History), executive director of the American Social History Project and the Center for Media and Learning, for a project on LGBTQ+ teacher education.
Valk and Donna Thompson Ray, co-project director, will use their $190,000 grant for LGBTQ+ Histories of the United States, a two-week summer institute for about two dozen middle and high school teachers on the histories of LGBTQ+ communities in the U.S., to take place at the Graduate Center next summer. Historians and scholars from many universities will introduce the participants to historical content and resources that they will be able to incorporate in their classes, and, as Valk explained, “to help them think through the how and why of offering this content.” After the institute, the American Social History Project will create a resource that can be shared with other teachers.
“This is both a very important and very timely topic,” said Valk. “This year, many states are restricting this kind of content through so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws; and anti-trans laws are targeting trans youth, making their scholastic experiences more difficult and schools potentially a less safe place. At the same time, over the past few years, a number of states, including New Jersey and California, have begun to mandate that LGBTQ+ content be incorporated into school curriculum. Many teachers are feeling unprepared and nervous about how to best introduce this content.”