Becoming a teacher and being LGBT
: Negotiating the heteronormative in the primary school context

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    The main focus of this small-scale narrative inquiry is to explore the experiences of LGBT teacher trainees in the primary school context during periods of school based training. This study aims to contribute to a small body of research that examines how LGBT teacher trainees manage and negotiate their sexual identities whilst working within heteronormative primary school settings. The semi-structured interview offered the most appropriate method for data collection, allowing for the researcher to explore participants’ experiences and narratives. Five interviews were conducted, four with undergraduate trainees and one with a newly qualified teacher. Findings identified that boundaried spaces within the heteronormative school setting act as border controls to facilitate the policing of sexualities. The study found that the ‘private and permitting’ staffroom offered freedom to disclose sexual identity and acknowledge LGBT lives. In contrast, the ‘public and prohibitive’ classroom continued to reproduce the heteronormative through the absence of LGBT visibility and the concealment strategies employed by participants. Findings revealed that agentive ‘moments of interruption’ to the heteronormative structures were dependent on participant self-belief and a sense of autonomy.
    Date of Award1 Aug 2018
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Brighton


    • LGBT
    • Heteronormative
    • Primary
    • School

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