Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Drs. Wayne Martino

2nd Supervisor

Jennifer Ingrey

Joint Supervisor


This qualitative study seeks to investigate elementary school teachers' approaches to addressing gender and sexual diversity through their pedagogical decision-making in the Ontario Education system. Its aim is to provide further knowledge about how the needs of LGBTQ students are being understood and addressed in elementary schools specifically, and how teachers are ensuring a more democratized social and pedagogical space for all children and youth. This study draws on empirical data from semi-structured interviews with ten elementary school teachers, which helped to develop a deeper understanding of their commitment to addressing gender and sexual diversity in their classroom and school. A queer and gender complex theoretical approach is employed to examine the extent to which teachers’ reflections speak to effectively addressing heteronormativity and cisnormativity in the school system. By gaining insight into how teachers make sense of their own experiences relating to gender and sexual diversity, and the relevance of this experience to their pedagogical practices, this research raises important questions about how to better support LGBTQ students in the education system.

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