TLES professor engages in scholarly activities that promote LGBTQ inclusion

Dr. Jill Hermann-Wilmarth

April was a busy month for Dr. Jill Hermann-Wilmarth, professor of socio-cultural studies in the College of Education and Human Development's Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational studies at WMU.

In April, Hermann-Wilmarth's book, co-authored with Dr. Caitlin L. Ryan of East Carolina University, Reading the Rainbow: LGBTQ-Inclusive Literacy Instruction in the Elementary Classroom, was co-published by Teachers College Press and GLSEN. The book provides resources for teachers who want to create a more inclusive space in their classrooms.

“We have seen how helping elementary school teachers expand their English language arts practice so that it is more LGBTQ-inclusive can make a difference in the lives of all students and families. We are hopeful that Reading the Rainbow provides educators with the tools and ideas they need to create classrooms where all students are welcome and reflected,” said Hermann-Wilmarth.

Hermann-Wilmarth and Ryan presented two papers at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association: "Expanding Representations of LGBTQ People Through Elementary English Language Arts: Considering Possibilities" and "'This Idea Came From a Book Called Crooked River': Queering 'Straight' Literature in K–5 Classrooms."

During April, Hermann-Wilmarth was also an early career mentor and an invited member on a panel, "Doing Queer Intersectional Research," for the AERA Queer Studies Special Interest Group's pre-conference workshop and she co-led a seminar, “Selecting and Using Children’s Literature to Discuss LGBTQIA Identities in Classrooms,” at Oakland University.