chapter  7
24 Pages

Sexing the subject: teachers, pedagogies and sex education

This chapter is concerned with the experiences of teachers and the ways in which pedagogic strategies and school processes are productive of sexual identities in educational arenas. A central theme of the chapter is an exploration of the relationship between the ‘micro politics of schooling’ (Ball 1987) and expressions of sexuality among teachers and pupils in the school. A life-history approach is used in interviews with teachers as a way of gaining access to auto/biographical accounts of individuals as (formerly) pupils and (presently) pedagogues. The chapter suggests that teachers’ biographies and personal experiences play a significant part in shaping and giving meaning to the pedagogic styles they adopt. Approaches to sexualities in school and, particularly, the teaching of sex education is informed by this dynamic. The chapter outlines three ways of looking at and studying teachers’ work and culture: teachers and the labour process; life history approaches; relations of desire. These three ways of looking represent different and divergent routes to developing an understanding of who teachers are and what they do. They are cited here in order to place the teaching of sex education within a broader context of educational research into teachers and teaching before considering emerging features and issues involved in the practice of sex education.