Graduation Date

5-2015

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

First Reader

Suresh Appavoo, Ed.D.

Second Reader

Madalienne Peters, Ed.D.

Abstract

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) mandates teachers to provide equitable access to the core curriculum by maximizing academic achievement for all students, including those who are lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB), (Commission on Teacher Credentialing, 2014). Without the knowledge, support, and acceptance of their teachers, LGB youth will experience multiple challenges during their K-12 educational careers. Scholarly literature reveals that the understanding and abilities of pre-service teachers to create safe spaces for LGB youth needs to be developed if pre-service teachers are eventually to become allies for LGB youth (Kearns, Mitton-Kukner, & Tompkins, 2014). Pre-service teacher education bears the responsibility of equipping potential educators with the knowledge, awareness, and competencies to address the educational inequities of both access and success for diverse populations (Wyatt, Oswalt, White, & Peterson, 2008). The following quantitative study surveyed a sample of the pre-service teacher population in California to examine their knowledge of, and attitudes toward LGB people. The results indicated that the attitudes of pre-service teacher candidates toward LGB people were not significantly different from the general population, showing that pre-service teachers do tend to hold personal biases which may affect their interation with LGB students. Additionally, the results from this study also indicated that the knowledge of pre-service teacher candidates regarding LGB people is limited, and suggest that there may be opportunities for improvement.