Interrogating Heteronormativity in Primary Schools

Interrogating Heteronormativity in Primary Schools

Renee Depalma and Elizabeth Atkinson

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The No Outsiders team, a collaboration of primary education practitioners and university researchers, has taken groundbreaking steps in addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in primary schools. DePalma and Atkinson and their colleagues from the ESRC-funded No Outsiders research team explore and analyze central issues which permeate the team's challenge to gender conformity through primary education.

The need for primary teachers and other professionals working with children to address equality in relation to sexual orientation and gender expression is becoming increasingly urgent in the light of recent changes in UK legislation. The Civil Partnership Act (2006), the Equality Act (2007) and new legislative requirements for ensuring the active promotion of child wellbeing, gender equality and community cohesion all place demands which schools and support services are ill-equipped to meet. This book fills a gap by examining how we might go about addressing these demands.

Interrogating Heteronormativity in Primary Schools brings together the wide-ranging expertise of the project's large research team, plus a chapter by Susan Talburt. It explores key themes related to the project's work: silence and speaking out; faith and culture; leadership and role-modelling; personal and emotional investment; gay rights/liberal humanist and queer perspectives; safety and risk-taking; the possibility of a queer pedagogy; and intersections between queer theory and practice.

This academic companion to the team's practice-focused book drawing on the project teachers' classroom work, Undoing Homophobia in Primary Schools, will be essential reading for all those in primary education who are concerned to challenge this last bastion of inequality, as well as for students and researchers in sociology, cultural studies, queer studies and related fields where the underlying discourses shaping heteronormativity and gender conformity require urgent analysis in the move towards a fairer society.
Dimensions (WxH):
6.1 x 9.1
Trentham Books
Publication Date:
August 24, 2009