The Policy Polka and the Curriculum Cotillion: How Catholic Schools Dance Away From Their Obligations Regarding Sexual Diversity

  • Tonya Callaghan Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
Keywords: curriculum, Canadian Catholic schools, sexual minority groups, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, heteronormativity, homophobic discrimination

Abstract

Advances in the legal rights of sexual minority groups in Canada over the past 20 years have lead to an increased understanding of sexual diversity as a human rights issue. Public education has attempted to reflect this change through policy and curriculum. However, such progressive reforms are weakened by the fact that Canadian Catholic schools often sidestep them due to perceived conflicts with religious beliefs. Paying particular attention to the evasive practices of Catholic schools, this paper explores opportunities to address diversity and inclusion issues available through curriculum, as well as through the individual agency of teachers and students.

Author Biography

Tonya Callaghan, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
Tonya Callaghan is the author of the book, That’s so Gay! Homophobia in Canadian Catholic Schools. She has over ten years teaching experience in national and international, rural and urban, Catholic and non-Catholic environments. A recipient of a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, she is currently pursuing doctoral studies in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.
Published
2009-09-09
Section
Position Paper/Essai