As Canada’s population age it is of increasing importance to recognize the heterogeneity of older adults, including their diverse needs as they age. To date, much of the gerontological research often relies on data solely from majority populations and fails to account for diverse experiences of aging, including those from LGBTQ+ communities. As a result, much of the teaching resources and evidence that informs gerontology pedagogy is centred around heterosexual and cisgender aging experiences, often ignoring or inadvertently perpetuating normative ideas around aging (Clarke, Ellis, Peel & Riggs, 2010; Witten, Eyler, Ettner & Eyler, 2007) and discounting life course that fall outside of the ‘norm’.
With funding through the SSHRC Partnership Development Grant program, this project is focused on integrating diverse experiences of aging into existing gerontology curricula. Through our partnership we aim to equip students and systems to recognize and disrupt embedded normative ideas about aging wherein LGBTQ+ individuals’ experiences and narratives are not heard, understood or valued.
A goal of this project is to develop new pedagogical approaches that prioritize representation of older adults with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities into gerontology training. Our team recognizes that many instructors are using innovative teaching methods already and yet these are not systematically documented to enable sharing of best practices. Within this interactive workshop we will introduce the project in detail, showcase innovative models used to-date, explore current teaching practices, and identify promising practices for new curriculum design in gerontology.
- Discuss the of the inclusion of LGBTQ+ aging within current gerontology texts and programs;
- Engage with and critique pilot resources developed to infuse diverse experiences of aging within the classroom;
- Identify promising practices, innovations, and strategies for including LGBTQ+ aging into gerontology training; and
- Have the opportunity to engage with the project team and explore opportunities for participating in this research and brining diverse stories of aging into future teaching experiences.
Who should attend
- Older adults
- Health and social care providers / advocates / organizations
We want to learn from you! This is an open invitation to join us and to share your experiences either providing education or receiving education in the field of gerontology.
- Kim Wilson, Assistant Professor of Adult Development & Aging at the University of Guelph
- Emma Lipinski, Research Assistant, MSc student, University of Guelph
- Partners from the “Deconstructing normativity in gerontology” project