Troubling silences and taboo texts : constructing safer and more positive school climates for same-sex attracted high school students in Australia

Ullman, Jacqueline & McGraw, Kelli (2014) Troubling silences and taboo texts : constructing safer and more positive school climates for same-sex attracted high school students in Australia. In Meyer, Elizabeth J. & Carlson, Dennis (Eds.) Gender and Sexualities in Education : A Reader. Peter Lang, New York, NY, pp. 298-312.

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Abstract

This chapter offers three insights into the relationship between curriculum decision making, positive school climate, and academic achievement for same-sex attracted (SSA) students, highlighting the need for students to be offered more than heteronormative narratives and silence on issues of sexuality in the official school curriculum. The authors firstly provide a review of research and report on findings of a doctoral study (Mikulsky, 2007) explaining the impact of SSA students’ perceptions of school climate on their motivation and academic self-concept. Situating the work in the context of the Australian Curriculum for English and associated classroom texts, the dominant discourse of ‘straight, white female’ heroines as exemplified in the globally popular young adult novel The hunger games and other texts popular with Australian students are critiqued, with an argument made for expanding notions of what it means to ‘attend to’ gender and sexuality through textual choice and critical pedagogy. The authors show how texts that feature LGBTQ characters and storylines continue to be marginalized and constructed as taboo and demonstrate how curricular choices can and do impact academic outcomes for marginalized students. Issues of gender and sexuality are framed as a cross-curriculum imperative, with recommendations made for the explicit inclusion of materials exploring gender and sexuality in the official curriculum of all key learning areas.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 77993
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: gender, sexuality, curriculum, schooling
ISBN: 9781433123269
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Gender Sexuality and Education (130308)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology of Education (160809)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 23 Oct 2014 00:47
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 15:14

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