INCLUSION IN ACTION– COE professors create educational workshops to help instructors support trans students

November 10, 2020

"Inclusion in Action | Auburn University College of Education"College of Education professors Kamden Strunk and Antonio Duran, along with Garry Morgan and AJ Kam, have developed a series of workshops to educate faculty on how to better support and affirm trans students on the Auburn campus. Garry Morgan is a staff member at the Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID) and is a Ph.D. student in the College of Education. AJ Kam is a graduate assistant for the Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.

“The idea for the workshops was our response as faculty members to the exposure of some really hostile experiences trans people had on our campus,” Strunk explained. “The workshops were a first step in helping our faculty members support trans students, and we are now in the process of developing a new online version of the workshop available to all faculty, instructors, and instructional staff on campus for no cost. People can earn a digital badge by completing the online workshop and participating in a facilitated discussion session that will be held at a later date.”

COE professors host educational workshops to help instructors support trans studentsOnce the online version is completed for faculty, the team will move on to create a version available for staff on campus, as well as administrators and professionals. In the workshop, the facilitators took attendees through learning basic terms and concepts related to gender, the research on transgender individuals in collegiate contexts, and offered them meaningful practices on how to engage gender identity in the classroom.

“Participants really enjoyed the opportunity to ask questions of one another and the facilitators. They also liked trying to apply this information through case study scenarios that we did at the end of these workshops,” Duran stated.

Participating in these workshops helped participants expand their knowledge base as it relates to gender identity, as evidenced through the results from the pre- and post-test from the workshops.

Chart detailing pre and post workshop understanding of trans pronouns and individuals; Set 1: I understand terms and concepts related to gender diversity, pre-5.2 post-6.4 Set 2: I am aware of gender pronouns and their importance pre-5.8 post-6.6 Set 3: I am confident in my ability to use the necessary language to interact respectfully with transgender individuals pre-4.8 post-6.1 Set 4: I am confident in my ability to use the necessary behavior to interact respectfully with transgender individuals pre-5.1 post-6.2 Set 5: I am knowledgeable about gender identity pre-5.2 post-6.1 Set 6: I know what to do to create create gender-inclusive spaces pre-4.3 post-6 Set 7: I am confident in my ability to use individual's pronouns pre-5 post-6.1

In addition to the workshops, the group has also been working with OID and Auburn’s Office of Information Technology to implement new options in Banner and Canvas for chosen names and pronouns. These naming options were ultimately incorporated into the workshops themselves.