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Educational Research for Social Change

On-line version ISSN 2221-4070


BROWN, Anthony. Queering Teacher Education Through Intergroup Dialogue. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2020, vol.9, n.2, pp.16-31. ISSN 2221-4070.

This article reports on intergroup dialogue as an innovative pedagogical tool to disrupt compulsory heteronormative values among life orientation (LO) students. LO is a school subject that is the study of the self in relation to others and to society. An intergroup dialogue between student teachers and their peers with diverse sexual orientations and gender expressions aimed to explore and understand sexuality differences, foster deeper understanding about issues of oppression and privilege, and build alliances for social change. Using a three-phase approach, the article examines the initial perceptions held about sexual diversity among the student teachers and how dialogue with same-sex sexual desire students enabled an understanding of the everyday realities of bullying and harassment. Six students with diverse sexual orientations and gender expressions, as guest speakers, shared their school experiences with a fourth-year cohort of LO students during sessions for comprehensive sexuality education. Dialogues between these two groups led to an increase in compassion for the repressive experiences of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities and a quest for knowledge on how to facilitate redress. Intergroup dialogue was shown to be a promising pedagogical tool to facilitate critical self-awareness, a shift in dissonance, and a quest for more knowledge to provide an inclusive learning environment for all learners.

Keywords : queering; heteronormativity; intergroup dialogue; sexual orientation.

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