Homosexuality (gay and lesbian) within the school environment: Teachers' perspectives

Year: 1998

Author: Curran, Greg

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

For students who identify as homosexual (gay and lesbian) or are unsure of their sexuality the school environment can be an alienating place, where there is little, if any, attention (apart from negativity) given to sexualities other than heterosexual. There is an emerging body of literature documenting the school experiences of these students. Yet there seems to be less known about the teachers who interact with these students, the people whose decisions impact so much not only on these students school experiences, but also on the attitudes of other students towards homosexuality.

This paper, based on a Master of Education research thesis (in progress), examines the attitudes, knowledge, perceptions and experiences of primary and secondary teachers in relation to homosexuality within the school environment. It will identify and analyse the influences, enablers and constraints that some teachers encounter in working with matters involving or relating to homosexuality within the school environment. The implications of this information in areas such as pedagogy and teacher training will also be considered.