Citizenship and Sexuality: Exploring Diverse Sexualities in Selected Curriculum Documents

By Todd A. Horton, Lynn Lemisko and Kurt Clausen.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In 2005, the Canadian government enacted the Civil Marriages Act permitting same-sex couples to marry. This was the latest in a series of progressive legal moves to acknowledge, recognize and legitimize diverse sexualities, thus ensuring full citizenship rights for all Canadians and the fostering of tolerance and acceptance of non-heterosexuals in the wider society. However, these legal moves did not translate into increased visibility within school curriculum documents. A study of eight secondary school history, civics, politics and law curriculum documents in the Province of Ontario illustrates that topics related sexual diversity are largely excluded and there is nothing to suggest teachers are to encourage tolerance and acceptance of sexual minorities. Drawing on various multicultural, gender and queer theorists, it is proposed that all students need to see diverse models of “being” in their school curricula. Further, for non-heterosexual students a healthy sense of self as well as a strong national identity requires a deep sense of belonging, a belief that you’re membership within the citizenry is acknowledged and respected. Suggestions are offered as Ontario begins a new round of curricular revisions.

Keywords: Canada, Education, Curriculum, Diverse Sexualities

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.193-206. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 665.840KB).

Dr. Todd A. Horton

Professor, Faculty of Education, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada

I am a teacher-educator and professor of Education with a background in history, political science and the teaching of social studies/history. I have written and presented in the areas of curriculum, citizenship education, the politics of identity and teaching for conceptual understanding. I am currently co-editing and contributing to a book on generative concepts in social studies and continue to analyze current and past curriculum documents as to their conceptualization of citizenship, identity, social justice, multiculturalism and environmentalism.

Dr. Lynn Lemisko

Assistant Professor, Curriculum Studies, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Dr. Lynn Lemisko is assistant dean of undergraduate programs & research and an associate professor of curriculum studies at the University of Saskatchewan. She teaches social studies methods at the undergraduate level and curriculum issues at the graduate level. While her research initially concentrated on the history and philosophy of curriculum, her inquiries have become increasingly focused on collaborative work with scholars and practitioners interested in exploring promising practices in educating for social justice and on investigating various experimental approaches in pre- service teacher education.

Dr. Kurt Clausen

Chair of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Education, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Clausen teaches curriculum studies at both the graduate and undergraduate levels at Nipissing University, Ontario. His doctoral work at the University of Ottawa focused on the various manifestations of curriculum integration in the official Ontario curriculum documents and in various schools across the province. With his colleagues, he is currently engaged in a country-wide project to compare the underlying orientations, implementation and teaching methodologies of social studies curricula.

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