College of Education and Human Development

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

J.B. Mayo

  • Pronouns: he, him, his

  • Associate Professor

  • Office Hours

    by appointment only

J.B. Mayo

Areas of interest

LGBT and Queer Studies, teacher education, critical pedagogies, multicultural education, social justice, intersectionality of race, gender, and sexual orientation


Associate Professor
PhD, University of South Florida
Social Studies Education


I am an Associate Professor in social studies education. I hold a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Florida, where my focus of study was gender and sexuality within the social studies, specifically on the formation and impact of Genders & Sexualities Alliances (GSAs) in secondary schools and the challenges faced by LGBQ teachers in Florida’s secondary classrooms. I am a former middle school social studies teacher of seven years in two Virginia public school districts.
I research and write about how to incorporate LGBTQ topics/themes in the standard social studies curriculum. As such, my most recent research projects focus on the experiences of queer people who participated in the Harlem Renaissance and on Two Spirit people among American Indian communities – their historic place within the communities and how that has changed over time – and writing curriculum that honors their contributions. In addition, I am interested in learning how the existence of LGBTQ-friendly clubs within schools, like Genders & Sexualities Alliances (GSAs) in both high schools and middle schools, affect the individuals who participate in them and the larger (school) communities in which they are located.

Current Courses

  • CI 5746—Global and Multicultural Education in the Secondary Classroom
  • CI 8132 – Teaching Theory and Research

Courses Taught

  • CI 5137—Multicultural Gender-Fair Curriculum
  • CI 5150—Global Perspectives in the Secondary Classroom
  • CI 5742 - Advanced Methods of Teaching the Social Studies
  • CI 5743—The Social Sciences and the Social Studies
  • CI 5744—Seminar: Reflecting on Professional Development in Social Studies Education
  • CI 5762—Developing Civic Discourse in the Social Studies
  • CI 5782--Clinical Experiences in Teaching Social Studies
  • CI 8131—Critical Examination of Curriculum in Context
  • CI 8132 – Teaching Theory and Research

Awards and Honors

Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award, Office for Equity and Diversity, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2016.
Lillian H. Williams Award, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2012.
Matthew Stark Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Faculty Award, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2012.
Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) Residential Fellow, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Fall 2011.
The Kipchoge Neftali Kirkland Social Justice Award, Native Americans’ Acceptance of Diversity: Lessons Learned from the Two Spirit Tradition, College University Faculty Assembly (CUFA), November 11, 2010.

Marty and Jack Rossmann Faculty Development Award, College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2019.

News Stories

Visions of Education - “LGBTQ topics in Education with J.B. Mayo, Jr”, June 20, 2018

University of Minnesota - “Upholding an academic legacy”, Jan 13, 2017


Selected Journal Articles: 

Mayo, J.B. (2020). Queer teacher to queer teacher: Reflections, questions, and hopes from current and aspiring educators. Teaching Education, doi: 10.1080/10476210.2019.1709813

Mayo, J.B. (2019). Engaging Two Spirit knowledge as a means to deconstruct the gender binary. Social Studies Journal39(1), 6-19.

Mayo, J.B. (2017). LGBTQ media images and their potential impact on youth in schools. [Special section, LGBTQ+ issues in social education]. Social Education81(5), 303-307.

Mayo, J.B. (2016). Adults’ complicity in limiting students’ understanding of sex, gender, and sexuality at school. Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, 16(1), 105-110. doi: 10.1080/14681811.2015.1094944

Mayo, J.B. (2013). Critical pedagogy enacted in the Gay Straight Alliance: New possibilities for a third space in teacher development. Educational Researcher42(5), 266-275. Doi: 10.3102/0013189X13491977

Mayo, J.B. (2013). Expanding the meaning of social education: What the social studies can learn from Gay Straight Alliances. Theory & Research in Social Education, 41(3), 352-381. Doi: 10.1080/00933104.2013.815489

Mayo, J.B. & Sheppard, M.G. (2012). New social learning from Two Spirit Native Americans. The Journal of Social Studies Research, 36(3), 263-282.

Recent Book Chapters:

Mayo, J.B. (2017). Physical and symbolic violence imposed: The difficult histories of lesbian, gay, and trans-people. In T. Epstein & C. Peck (Eds.), Teaching and learning difficult histories in international contexts: A critical sociocultural approach (pp. 209-221). New York, NY: Routledge Press.

Mayo, J. B. (2017). Sexuality and queer theory in the social studies. In M. M. Manfra & C. M. Bolick (Eds.), The Wiley handbook of social studies research (pp. 254-269). Boston, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Mayo, J.B. (2017). Where is the queerness in social studies teacher education? In C. Martell (Ed.), Social studies teacher education: Critical issues and current perspectives (pp. 133-149). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Mayo, J.B. (2016). The imperative to teach marriage equality in the social studies classroom: A history, rationale, and classroom practice for a more inclusive democracy. In W. Journell (Ed.), Teaching social studies in an era of divisiveness: The challenges of discussing social issues in a non-partisan way (pp.79-92). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.