Queering Elementary Education: Advancing the Dialogue about Sexualities and Schooling (Curriculum, Cultures, and (Homo)Sexualities Series)

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9780847693696: Queering Elementary Education: Advancing the Dialogue about Sexualities and Schooling (Curriculum, Cultures, and (Homo)Sexualities Series)
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Queering Elementary Education is not about teaching kids to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or straight. ItOs not part of a sinister stratagem in the Ogay agenda.O Instead, these provocative and thoughtful essays advocate the creation of classrooms that challenge categorical thinking, promote interpersonal intelligence, and foster critical consciousness. Queer elementary classrooms are those where parents and educators care enough about their children to trust the human capacity for understanding and their educative abilities to foster insight into the human condition. Those who teach queerly refuse to participate in the great sexual sorting machine called schooling where diminutive GI Joes and Barbies become star quarterbacks and prom queens, while the Linuses and Tinky Winkies become wallflowers or human doormats. Queeering education means bracketing our simplest classroom activities in which we routinely equate sexual identities with sexual acts, privilege the heterosexual condition, and presume sexual destinies. Queer teachers are those who develop curriculum and pedagogy that afford every child dignity rooted in self-worth and esteem for others. In short, queering education happens when we look at schooling upside down and view childhood from the inside out. This groundbreaking volume demands we explore taken-for-granted assumptions about diversity, identities, childhood, and prejudice.

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About the Author:

William J. Letts IV is a lecturer in science education at the Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia. James T. Sears is an independent scholar. He is currently a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Review:

Provides an in-depth examination of the ways children's lives are hurt by homophobia and an inspiring array of strategies educators can use to turn this problem around. A must read for parents, educators, and administrators alike. (Debra Chasnoff, Film Director, It's Elementary - Talking About Gay Issues in School)

This brilliant anthology is crucial reading for anyone committed to ensuring that our schools become physically and emotionally safer and more educationally relevant for students and staff of all sexual and gender identifications...Destined to become a classic, Queering Elementary Education offers a well-reasoned way out of the pedagogical and curricular restraints that have inhibited true liberatory education in our elementary schools. (Warren J. Blumenfeld, Editor, Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price Editor, International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies)

This courageous collection of essays presents an articulate and passionate challenge to the repressive state apparatuses such as schools that professionally administer homophobia and reproduce state-sponsored heterosexism. Will Letts, Jim Sears and their contributors have provided educators with compelling arguments supporting gay and lesbian perspectives, multiculturalism, and gender and class equality. This volume marks the beginning of the queering of critical pedagogy and is long overdue. (Peter McLaren, Honorary Chair Professor and Director of the Center for Critical Studies, Northeast Normal University, China)

These path-breaking essays are addressed to every present and future educator who would model honesty, civility, fairness, and respect for their students, colleagues and communities.... Provides readers with standards for achieving the kind of dignity that is rooted in self-worth and esteem for others and encourages us to imagine societies with more democratic space for all. This collection does all of this, and is also fun to read. (Sandra Harding, Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Info Studies, UCLA)

Queering Elementary Education is a ground-breaking book. Here we have, for the first time, a wide-ranging collection of articles on sexuality and elementary (or, in British terms, primary) schooling. Together and individually, the chapters of this book make a compelling case for Queering Elementary Education, to the benefit of all children in all their diversity. With sections on children, the curriculum, educators and families, the book offers a rich resource of teachers, student teachers and teacher educators and for anyone with an interest in sexuality, social justice and schooling. (Deborah Epstein)

As an educator and gay parent, I found this collection fascinating and inspiring, to be widely read and widely taught. (William F. Pinar, St. Bernard Parish Alumni Endowed Professor, Louisiana State University)

An important new anthology.... The articles in this book are arranged in just such a way that they offer us some very astute 'queer' observations while, almost simultaneously, providing us with very practical suggestions.... An incredible accomplishment. (Glorianne M. Leck, Youngstown State University (From the Afterward))

In this groundbreaking volume grounded to cutting edge scholarship that is plainly written, Will Letts and James Sears have pointed us down the path to a brighter tomorrow. Here they bring together a diverse range of writers who offer both theoretical constructs and practical advice to those who believe our schools should actively foster the values of justice. Queering Elementary Education gives us tools we need to move ahead. (Kevin Jennings, Executive Director, Gay/Lesbian/Straight Education Network (From the Foreword))

Queering Elementary Education is an important contribution to nourishing the ethical heart of teaching, reminding us how anemic and cold and partial our embrace of our students has too often been. For some readers this collection will be an affirmation, for others a surprise and challenge. But it is a book for all teachers and parents, indeed for anyone concerned with the healthy development of children and schools. And, yes, it has an agenda: it stands straight and strong for fairness, for respect, for humanity, for simple decency. Jane Addams and the dauntless women of Hull House extended our sense of what childhood might be one hundred years ago. Addams asked: How shall we respond to the dreams of youth? This book is built around the same question, extending it in critical and powerful ways. (William Ayers, educational theorist, author, and distinguished professor of education and senior university scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago)

Probably no other title in the pantheon of liberationists literature will evoke more controversy than Queering Elementary Education.Queering Elementary Education is the first carefully constructed work written for educators who are ever on the front lines in the worldwide struggle to eliminate prejudices born of societal ignorance.This extraordinary book was conceived in the summer of 1997 when its editors envisioned what one of them, William J. Letts, IV called: 'a project that would take into account the lifeworlds of children, their families, their teachers, and their schools.' (Jack Nichols Gay Today)

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