Inclusivity in the English Classroom : A Study in Inclusivity, Focusing on Heteronormativity and Sexuality, in the English Courses 5-7 in Upper Secondary Schools

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Engelska

Abstract: This student thesis project centers around two subjects, heteronormativity and LGBTQIA+ representation, and examines whether or not they are prominent in today’s schools in a smaller selected municipality in Sweden, if schools strive for inclusivity, and what is done to prevent any potential suffering for the LGBTQIA+ youth. Firstly, this student thesis project presents the theory, more specifically queer theory, that will be used as the basis for results analysis. Secondly, the background is presented with relevant previous research in similar areas where LGBTQIA+ themes or issues and heteronormativity are key elements. Thirdly, this student thesis project presents the questionnaire that eight upper secondary school teachers in English have responded to and what they have responded, followed by the results that consist of an analysis using the previous research. Lastly, this student thesis project concludes that many areas affect how and when LGBTQIA+ issues or questions are represented. One area is responsibility as responsibility appears to be put on teachers, Skolverket, and the students themselves for change to happen. Teachers must dare to include LGBTQIA+ issues or questions, and teachers urge Skolverket to assist in including LGBTQIA+ related topics in the steering documents. The students have a responsibility to take LGBTQIA+ issues or questions seriously as they are presented to them in class and allow themselves to ask questions to gain more knowledge in the area. There is room for improvement in terms of inclusivity as heteronormativity still influences the schools in the selected municipality, making LGBTQIA+-questions secondary and separate rather than a natural part of education.

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