Dissertation, Educational Studies, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
This dissertation explores how elementary educators in Alberta, Canada make sense of and engage with queer, trans, and gender non-conforming diversity in elementary education, and how those understandings inform their pedagogy and practices. Contextualized within Alberta’s political conservatism, this research consists of a policy analysis of Alberta Education’s Guidelines for Best Practices and 12 school district policies, 14 interviews with elementary educators and two group discussions. This dissertation makes a critical contribution to the field by exploring how elementary education is shaped by necropolitical regimes of normativity that bestow privilege and support to some queer and trans kids, while increasing vulnerability and precarity for others. By focusing on discursive practices, this research explores why current government and school district policies, professional development, administrative interventions, and classroom strategies for queer and trans “inclusion” are insufficient.
LEARNING ABOUT TRANSGENDER IDENTITIES THROUGH STORY: 10,000 DRESSES BY MARCUS EWERT
In S. Woolley, & L. Airton (Eds),
Teaching about Gender Diversity: Teacher-Tested Lesson Plans for K–12 Classrooms
Teaching about Gender Diversity is an edited collection of teacher-tested interdisciplinary lesson plans that provides K–12 teachers with the tools to implement gender-inclusive practices into their curriculum and talk to their students about gender and sex. Divided into three sections dedicated to the elementary, middle, and secondary grade levels, this practical resource provides lessons for a variety of subject areas, including English language arts, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and health and physical education. The lessons range from reading aloud early literacy picture books that use gender-neutral language and highlight the gendered experiences of characters to engaging mathematics in the study of targeting gender terminology, stereotypes, and the social construction of binary gender.
“ALL THESE BOOKS WERE KINDA TEACHING US LESSONS”: ANTI-OPPRESSIVE CHILDREN’S LITERATURE IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLASSROOM
In S. Singer and M. J. Harkins (Eds), Educators on Diversity, Social Justice, and Schooling: A Reader (2018).
This volume features contributions by educators from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and includes chapter-end key questions, additional resources for more information, and suggested activities to engage students in critical thought and to ground concepts of diversity and social justice in practical application. Students in undergraduate and graduate education studies, curriculum studies, and foundational studies programs will value the combination of theoretical and practical knowledge that this collection puts forth to foster a new generation of inclusive educators.
“SHE’S TOO NICE AND DIDN’T WANT TO HURT THE DRAGON”: USING FAIRYTALES TO EXPLORE CHILDREN’S UNDERSTANDINGS OF GENDER
In A. Doucet and J. Siltanen (Eds), Gender relations in Canada: Intersectionalities and social change, 2nd edition (2017).
Gender Relations in Canada is an accessible examination of the many ways gendered structures and identities are embraced, resisted, and challenged in Canada today. Taking an intersectional approach, this text first presents the major shifts in sociological thinking about gender before moving on to consider how gender shapes our experiences throughout our lives.
“IT’S HARDER TO CATCH A BOY BECAUSE THEY’RE TOUGHER”: USING FAIRYTALES IN THE CLASSROOM TO EXPLORE CHILDREN’S UNDERSTANDINGS OF GENDER
The Alberta Journal of Educational Research (2014).
Traditional fairytales serve to socially construct gendered categories and reify dominant understandings of masculinities and femininities. Using reading groups and participant observations in an elementary school classroom, this article explores how children actively engage with gendered messages within fairytales—specifically examining children’s adherence to, and negotiation of, gender boundaries as demonstrated through their performances of gender within daily classroom discussions and activities. This article illustrates the diverse ways in which children engage with text and how they apply these messages to their own lives, work within its confines, and explore alternatives. Findings demonstrate the potential for educators to create an environment through which children are afforded the freedom to navigate gendered messages and discourses. Such initiatives may contribute to developing more inclusive learning environments and educational opportunities that challenge the perpetuation and reinforcement of long-established gender stereotypes in the classroom.