Date Approved

1-10-2018

Embargo Period

1-16-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Educational Leadership (Doctor of Education)

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth

Second Advisor

Johnson, Ane Turner

Third Advisor

Sarruda, James

Subject(s)

Gay teachers; Private schools

Disciplines

Gender and Sexuality | Teacher Education and Professional Development

Abstract

In recent years the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Queer (Queer) community has experienced unprecedented acceptance in U.S. culture. Yet, education, historically slow to change (Fullan & Miles, 1992), continues in many states to promote a heteronormative culture that does not recognize nor promote equity for the queer community that exists within their schools (Barrett & Bound, 2015).

The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological heuristic inquiry was to explore my experience, and those of eleven other queer out independent school educators, to understand how we makes sense of, and navigate, the heteronormative, traditionally male-dominated, independent school environment. This study used in-depth interviews to develop an understanding for a specific set of teachers, queer independent school educators, of their experiences in navigating the process of revealing their identities, coming out, within their educational institutions.

This study used heuristic inquiry, as developed by Moustakas (1990), as a research framework while relying upon the conceptual identity frameworks of Cass (1984), Troiden (1988), and Jackson (2007) to explore the experience of being out and queer, the navigation of the personal and professional identities we all posses as teachers.

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