The need to prepare future teachers to understand and combat homophobia in schools

Case Studies & Research
20 p.
Periodical title
South African Journal of Higher Education, 28,4, 1249-1268

Teacher training programmes that improve teachers' capacity and confidence to address homophobia in South African schools will engender non-homophobic school contexts. Currently, there is a dearth of educational research on future teachers' preparation for homophobic school contexts. By drawing on group interviews with student-teachers; semi-structured interviews with lecturers and course coordinators; and analysing course outlines of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual (LGBTI) offerings at three South African universities, this article shows that such programmes exist, albeit in a limited form. While they enable greater awareness, they do not translate into future teachers being enabled to apply their learning in classrooms, school contexts and their personal lives. It is recommended that more systematic efforts to capacitate teachers for their role in engendering non-homophobic behaviour in schools is needed in teacher training programmes at South African universities.

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