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Queering the Art Classroom: An ethnographically informed study on an intervention in a UK GCSE art and design classroom

Millett, Tabitha Verity Patience; (2021) Queering the Art Classroom: An ethnographically informed study on an intervention in a UK GCSE art and design classroom. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Since 2003 successive British governments have taken steps to develop legislation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning / queer and those who are gender /sexuality non-conforming more generally (LGBTQ+). In doing so, they have foregrounded the need for educational institutions to respond proactively to this legislation. There is evidence to suggest that homophobia is prominent in UK schools, yet measures to address the issue have largely rested on schools and LGBTQ+ charities, reducing discussions of homosexuality to anti-bullying discourses and introducing curriculum modifications that are overwhelmingly homonormative. The limitations of these current approaches ignore the societal and institutional power structures – generally referred to as heteronormativity - that help to produce homophobia. Drawing on aspects of new materialist and queer theoretical perspectives, this thesis presents the findings of a research project that focused on developing an intervention at GCSE level, exploring genders and sexualities in the art curriculum. The research project was conducted with a year 10 GCSE art and design class in a secondary school in North London and ran from 2017 to 2018. Through the application of a pedagogy rooted in aspects of queer theory, the study not only explores the possibilities of disrupting heteronormativity, but also school art orthodoxies and didactic learning by investigating student and the teacher responses to the intervention. As such, the study is an exploration of an attempt at moving beyond the homonormative inclusion of LGBTQ+ content, towards a deeper exploration of gender and sexuality within the curriculum cultivated through making in the art classroom. The findings suggest that students and the classroom teacher were able to come to new realisations regarding themselves, gender and sexuality and their art practice/teaching practice. Therefore, the findings propose new avenues for pedagogy, with regards to art practice in schools and explorations of gender and sexuality in schools.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Queering the Art Classroom: An ethnographically informed study on an intervention in a UK GCSE art and design classroom
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request. - Some third party copyright material has been removed from this e-thesis.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130350
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