Panel Paper: Educators in Training: An Evaluation of Trainings to Promote Gender Inclusive Schools

Friday, November 3, 2017
Stetson F (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Mollie McQuillan, Northwestern University and Jennifer Leininger, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Introduction Background:

Gender-affirming educational practices are crucial for trans and gender expansive youth, who are disproportionately at risk for a host of negative academic and health outcomes (GLSEN, 2015); yet, most educators don’t receive training on gender inclusivity. Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Gender & Sex Development Program provides educators with training to promote gender inclusivity awareness and the tools to create affirming environments. This study describes educators’ 1) beliefs regarding the need and relevance of this training as well as their capacity to improve learning environments after the training, 2) their intended implementation of strategies, and 3) suggestions for future trainings.


This cross-sectional, descriptive study examines post-training survey data from administrators, teachers, and staff (N=1,530). Measures include self-reported ratings to assess beliefs and open-ended questions concerning implementation plans and suggestions for future trainings. Qualitative analysis used grounded theory to identify key themes.

Key Findings:

Graph 1 summarizes our quantitative findings indicating educators believed the training was relevant, useful, and fit their needs. Educators felt capable of creating a safe educational environment for students and of discussing gender issues with parents and students. Intended implementation themes included being more self-aware, seeking new classroom resources, pursing policy changes, and adjusting specific teaching practices and language. Educators recommended using more first-person accounts, sample scenarios or lessons plans, and more time for future trainings.

Implication for Research and Practice:

Our early results show educators wanted more training on gender inclusivity, such as on how to implement affirming practices, and believed the training they had was useful and relevant. These results suggest utility and relevance issues are not barriers to expanding this programming.

Future research should examine barriers to offering teachers training and how broad the training need is in addition to evaluations using pre-/post-training measures and representative samples.

Full Paper: