The fourth annual TransAction conference will take place on March 4
Society provides most children with a classroom experience that often fails to include the range of their gender, sexuality, race, religion, exception and socio-economic experiences, says author, researcher in education and artist Michelle Knaier ’01, M ’03.
Knaier will return to his alma mater on Friday, March 4 to deliver the keynote address at SUNY Cortland’s Fourth Annual TransAction Conference. She hopes to provide a framework that future university educators can use to promote inclusion and multiculturalism in the classroom.
Knaier, from Escondido, Calif., a lecturer at Purdue University in its Curriculum Studies program, will discuss “Queer(ing) Approaches to Curriculum and Identity Development: A Discourse from queer opening” at 12:40 p.m. during the virtual conference.
TransAction, a conference on the needs and experiences of transgender and gender-queer students in the college setting, will focus this year on how to support trans students, particularly in higher education.
Registration is free for all participants and can be done in line.
- 9:10 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: “Best practices for maintaining inclusion” session
- 10:20 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.: “Queer Social Justice in the Workplace” session
- 12:40 p.m. to 1:40 p.m.: opening speech
- 1:50 to 2:40 p.m.: student panel “What would you like the world to look like?”
Knaier, who earned a doctorate in philosophy of education in curriculum and teaching from Purdue University, researches, develops, and advocates for queer, multicultural, and social justice teacher education and an LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 curriculum. .
She is the author of a book, Queer Multicultural Social Justice Education: Curriculum (and Identity) Development Through Performance. For those who wish to read it, Knaier has donated a copy to the Memorial Library.
His interest in presenting scenarios faced by queer people is exemplified by his Purdue Photo Project.
“As a queer student growing up and then as a teacher, I witnessed a lot of anti-gay language, taunts and bullying,” Knaier said. “So as a young teacher or student of education, I made it my goal to learn more about LGBTQ issues in the classroom. At the time, it was really focused on bullying instead of bullying. ‘trying to figure out how could we make teaching and learning spaces more inclusive. We were doing this for students of color, even though that in itself wasn’t progressing as fast as it should. We also wanted to make more LGBTQ-inclusive classrooms and schools.
A former middle and high school science teacher, Knaier is an active practitioner of the multicultural education classroom who integrates critical theories into queer(ing) curriculum research based on her own experiences.
“Queer or to queer is a verb, it’s an action,” she said. “It’s not necessarily related to LGBTQ identity. It’s really about addressing the heteronormative status quo in society. In doing so, we can break down binary identities or deconstruct socially constructed identities.
According to Knaier, his approach is not just about the LGBTQ community.
“It’s a multicultural educational movement,” she said.
“The queer approach encompasses many techniques,” Knaier continued. “Ethnography is the study of culture and an autoethnography is the study of one’s own culture. It’s basically me studying my cultural identities, whether they’re socio-economic, racial, ethnic, exceptional, gender, it could be any number of things.
For example, she recently wrote about her own experience teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic at the time also encompassing the Black Lives Matter movement.
“My research started at SUNY Cortland,” Knaier said, recalling how supportive his school of education mentors were for the elderly, self-identified non-traditional queer student who first waded into the room. of class. She eventually graduated summa cum laude. Knaier even retains Professor Beth Klein of the Department of Childhood and Early Childhood Education as a mentor.
“My first article on the subject was written at SUNY Cortland,” Knaier said, referencing research she later revisited in a 2017 book chapter titled “A Place Where They Can Be Themselves.”
At SUNY Cortland, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Early Secondary Education, with a major in Biology, and a Master of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education, with a major in Educational Technology.
“I’m so excited to be able to come back and talk,” Knaier said.
She hopes that area high school educators who mentor SUNY Cortland student teachers will attend the event.
TransAction attendees can attend the entire conference or individual sessions.
Previous TransAction speakers include Court Pineiro ’18, SUNY Cortland graduate, model, artist, and writer; Perhaps Burke, a New York-based writer, actor and human rights defender; and Harrison Brownan actor, LGBTQ+ advocate and retired athlete, who was the first transgender athlete in professional hockey.
The event is presented by the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Committee and receives additional support from the Office of Multicultural Life and Diversity, Office of Equity and Institutional Inclusion, Center for Gender and Cross-Cultural Studies, and Cortland Auxiliary Grants and Campus Artists and Lecture Series.
For more information, contact Morris or visit RedDragonNetwork.org/Transaction.