JustEd2018 conference day 2: Gender and sexual equality and diversity

JustEd2018 research conference day 2_19

Keynote speakers and Professors Ann Phoenix and Dennis Francis and the Chair for the keynote session, Assistant Professor Jón Ingvar Kjaran.

How can homophobia be diminished in schools and classrooms? Should gender and sexuality education be part of the official curriculum? How should gender and sexuality be framed in teaching? These questions, among others, were discussed in the keynote sessions on the second day of the JustEd2018 international research conference.

Keynote speakers Ann Phoenix (University of London, England) and Dennis Francis (Stellenbosch University, South Africa) presented current research on gender and sexuality in education, focusing mainly on how teachers and kids talk and think about gender and sexuality today.

Ann Phoenix: “It is crucial that teachers recognize the contradictions that boys and girls face in schools, and that teachers do claim that everybody is equal. Being gay is just part of life and we need to disrupt going into homophobic name calling and teasing. Teachers need to talk more with boys about the place of name calling and joking – if that is the major way of how boys communicate, the content sometimes reproduces inequalities.”

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Professor Ann Phoenix

Dennis Francis: “Teaching anti-oppression is the key to the promotion of social justice in education. I prefer anti-oppression to the term anti-racism. In an anti-oppressive framework, the relation to gender and sexuality issues can be viewed from a wider and more spacious perspective, in the context of change in institutional or systemic levels. It is all about unlearning. For example arts based approaches, like forum theatre for instance, can be seen as a way to a reflexive unlearning process. There is no adequate amount of preservice-education for teachers on sexual diversity.”

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Professor Dennis Francis



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About the Author

About the Author: Charlotta Järf is in charge of the communications and marketing activities for JustEd, The Nordic Centre of Excellence, an international research network with 14 partner universities in 8 countries. With ten years of professional experience in Communications and Marketing, and five years as a TV, radio and newspaper journalist, Charlotta has a practical set of skills in strategical communications, PR, social media, graphic design, video and content production. .


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