UW–Madison student Gill discusses potential of LGBTQ+ research in IES blog post

UW–Madison’s Erin Gill was featured in a blog series from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) that is showcasing IES-funded education researchers and fellows that are making significant contributions to education research, policy, and practice.

Erin Gill

Gill is a PhD student in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis and a predoctoral fellow with the IES-funded Interdisciplinary Training Program for Predoctoral Research in the Education Sciences where she studies the policies and practices that influence LGBTQ+ students K-12 school experiences and well-being.

In honor of PRIDE month, Gill is one of two fellows featured in a blog post that reflects on the state and future of education research for LGBTQ+ students and those who support them.

When asked what excites her this research, Gill says there has never been a more critical moment to focus on the needs of LGBTQ+ youth. “I am excited by education research that aids educators to counter anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments and helps them identify effective practices to support the needs of LGBTQ+ youth,” she says.

“Our LGBTQ+ students need researchers, policymakers, and educators to understand their lives and experiences and advocate for meaningful change in K-12 schools because they deserve schools free of bullying and harassment where they can see themselves reflected in the lessons and curricula, express themselves and their identities, access facilities, participate in school activities and traditions, and be happy and healthy,” she says.

“Our teachers also need support,” Gill adds. “Although many educators seem eager to advocate for LGBTQ+ students and their needs, they can’t do so if they fear losing their jobs or are pushed out of schools. Educators, whose jobs may be on the line, need research that backs their LGBTQ+-inclusive practices… Research can help educators identify effective practices and push back against individuals seeking to restrict LGBTQ+ students’ rights in schools.”

To learn more about research Gill thinks would benefit LGBTQ+ students, check out the full blog post at ies.ed.gov.

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