ERIC Number: EJ1138654
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
Dogma before Diversity: The Contradictory Rhetoric of Controversy and Diversity in the Politicisation of Australian Queer-Affirming Learning Materials
Shannon, Barrie; Smith, Stephen J.
Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, v17 n3 p242-255 2017
This paper discusses contradictory imperatives in contemporary Australian pedagogy--the notions of "controversy" and "diversity" as they relate the subjects of genders and sexualities. It is a common view that both gender and sexuality are important organising features of identity, society and politics. Consistent effort is made in the Australian educational context to combat discrimination, prejudice against sexually, and gender 'diverse' people. However, the state's commitment to diversity policies must be balanced with a secondary focus on appeasing those who are hostile to non-heteronormative expression, or who view such expression as inherently "political" in nature and therefore inappropriate for the school setting. Australia has arguably demonstrated this dilemma recently in two notable controversies: an intervention in planned school screenings of "Gayby" Baby, a documentary exploring the experience of children in same-sex families, and media furore over the trans-positive "All of Us" teaching kit. Using these case studies, this paper explores the competing imperatives of controversy and diversity, commenting on the tendency for the lives and experiences of LGBTIQ people becoming consequently politicised. To do so, is arguably detrimental to the meaningful participation of LGBTIQ people as social citizens.
Descriptors: Homosexuality, Foreign Countries, Sexual Orientation, Sexual Identity, Gender Differences, Politics, Intervention, Documentaries, Family Characteristics, Mass Media, Case Studies, Educational Policy, Instructional Materials, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Neoliberalism
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia