The Teacher as a Text: Un-centering Normative Gender Identities in the Secondary English Language Arts Classroom

  • Kate E. Kedley
Part of the Queer Studies and Education book series (QSTED)


Kedley suggests that the Secondary English Language Arts (SELA) classroom can serve as a crucial site for perpetuating or challenging normative gender categories. The teacher’s presence is one way students learn about gender—they “read” the teacher’s presumed gender before they read novels and short stories. Kedley suggests that well-intentioned Secondary English Language Arts teachers subconsciously risk underscoring the gender binary; when they don’t critically complicate themselves as a text that students read, they contribute to a social and educational environment which is at present risky and even dangerous for trans* and (a)gender diverse students. In illustrating the thesis of this chapter, Kedley utilizes the Queer Literacy Framework (QLF) to provide concrete suggestions for teachers to be “text” as a pedagogical strategy that supports students to understand how (a)gender functions in the classroom as a jumping off point for texts writ large.


Secondary English Language Arts (SELA) Gender Norms Gender Diverse Students Gender Self-determination Gender Configurations 
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© The Author(s) 2016

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate E. Kedley
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IowaIowa CityUK

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