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Supporting gender and sexual diversity in high schools: Building conversations for LGBTQI human rights in the English classroom

Pearce, J., Gardiner, V., Cumming-Potvin, W. and Martino, W. (2016) Supporting gender and sexual diversity in high schools: Building conversations for LGBTQI human rights in the English classroom. Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia.

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Abstract

Although the status of human rights with respect to diversity in gender and sexuality has improved over the past two decades, discrimination against LGBTQI individuals in Australia remains unacceptable in terms of social attitudes, policies and practices (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2015). Young LGBTQI people, in particular, face discrimination in many aspects of their daily lives. Educational experiences can be especially negative, with schools identified as sites where students are often at risk of bullying, harassment and other forms of violence in relation to their diverse or perceived diverse genders or sexualities (Greytak, Kosciw & Diaz, 2009; Hillier, Jones, Monagle, Overton, Gahan, Blackman & Mitchell, 2010; Kosciw, Greytak, Boesen, Bartkiewicz & Palmer, 2011; Robinson, Bansel, Denson, Ovendon & Davies; Taylor et al., 2014).

When LGBTQI identifying young people or those from LGBTQI families feel unsafe in schools or unrepresented by the curriculum, the Australian education system’s capacity to promote mental health, well-being and academic outcome s for all students is compromised. Given legislative requirements, human rights are the business of all educational stakeholders, with teachers playing a key role in making a positive difference to young people’s lives. Supporting gender and sexual diversity in high schools: Building conversations for LGBTQI human rights in the English classroom is based on a Young and Well CRC research project that examines the perceptions and practices of a group of high school English teachers who were exploring ways to work in this area. The discussion that follows is informed by the words and experiences of the teachers interviewed for this project.

Publication Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Murdoch University
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/32105
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