Setting the stage for the entire world, Scotland becomes the first country to make inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community mandatory in their education system. Dismantling the popular belief that the LGBTQ+ community is a recent “trend”, this step taken by the Scottish government has taken a colossal step to ensure inclusion by acknowledging and normalising the history of the community.
Education systems around the world adopt a conservative nature, with limited or no reference to the history and relevance of information about sexual orientation and personal identity. In an attempt to keep up a certain ‘moral’ standard, leading countries fail to incorporate LGBTQ+ inclusive learning and comprehensive sex-ed.
Leaving no room for inclusion, or allowing an understanding of oneself, various activists have blamed schools for their lack of knowledge about the community. Having a prominent and accurate role in history, activists believe that the teaching and learning of LGBTQ+ history is not a method of activism, but is simply a way of presenting all the facts.
In Scotland, the movement to change their education system was ignited by an LGBTQ+ advocacy group known as the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE). The group successfully lobbied the change in the Scottish parliament and opened access to various materials and libraries to educators to better support the student population. The new curriculum has further ensured that both the younger and older generation have access to such learning.
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Apart from now being required to learn about the history of the LGBTQ+ community, integration across all subject areas has been encouraged. For instance, math problems normalising homosexual families and parenting, and colouring pages with relevant cultural examples for younger children, have become increasingly common in classrooms.
The new curriculum in Scotland has received widespread support from people all over the world, and has set a new standard for inclusive education and allows for other countries’ laws and education systems to be questioned. The change has been championed by TIE in collaboration with the local government and Holyrood officials, alongside the support of the Children’s Minister Clare Haughey.
Various states across the United States have been brought to the forefront of such questioning, with laws that put the LGBTQ+ community in a derogatory position. Oklahoma for instance, has been widely condemned for its AID prevention laws, wherein the first step to AID prevention restricts citizens from engaging in homosexual activity. Such measures and laws exist across the world with the intent of maintaining a ‘moral standard’ and pleasing a conservative audience.
As countries such as Scotland take up the initiative to introduce an LGBTQ+-inclusive curriculum, unrest grows at a global scale, to ensure such inclusive change everywhere – breaking heteronormativity, normalising and curating a truly inclusive structure of learning for all.