A Concept Mapping Study of Gay/Straight Alliances
Wurl, Andrew T.
MetadataShow full item record
Research has shown the presence of a Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) can have a positive effect on students' experiences in schools, yet there is a lack of research on the practices of GSAs. This study aimed to examine the ideal and actual practices of GSAs through the perceptions of a sample of GSA advisors ( N =57) by utilizing concept mapping. Two concept mapping projects were conducted to identify and examine (1) the ideal practices of GSAs and (2) the obstacles experienced by these student-led clubs. Importance and frequency ratings were gathered for the ideal practices and the obstacles were rated on frequency and severity. Two six-cluster concept maps were generated to illustrate the ideal practices and obstacles experienced by GSAs. The concept of alignment from the GoodWork Project was then applied to the resultant relationships between ideal practices, actual practices, and obstacles. The alignment of the sample was evaluated in regard to the entire sample's ability to conduct the ideal practices considered important and the similarity and differences of practices and obstacles between two groups of GSAs based on location. While a high degree of alignment was found within the sample and between groups based on location, obstacles were still identified that may be contributory factors to the prevention of total alignment among GSAs and within a GSA's ability to conduct its ideal practices. Implications on GSA practices and educations and the limitations of this study are discussed.