Download the full-sized PDF of Sex, sexual, and gender differences in Canadian K-12 schools: Theoretical and empirical perspectives on identity, policy, and practiceDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Sex, sexual, and gender differences in Canadian K-12 schools: Theoretical and empirical perspectives on identity, policy, and practice Open Access


Other title
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
Queer theory
Sexual orientation
Gender identity
Sexual minority youth
Sexual minority teachers
Public education
Critical theory
Educational policy
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Wells, Kristopher
Supervisor and department
Grace, Andre (Educational Policy Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Martino, Wayne (University of Western Ontario)
Snart, Fern (Educational Psychology)
Schrader, Alvin (School of Library and Information Sciences)
Doherty, Maryanne (Secondary Education)
Wimmer, Randy (Educational Policy Studies)
Department of Educational Policy Studies

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The research in this dissertation develops a multiperspective theoretical framework, which I describe as queer criticality, to guide the examination of discursive practices, educational policies, and public discourses that undergird heteronormativity and disproportionately impact the personal safety and professional wellbeing of sexual minority and gender variant (SMGV) teachers and students in Canadian K-12 schools. Queer criticality, as a theoretical construct, seeks to bring together and investigate aspects of critical theory, critical pedagogy, poststructuralism, and queer theory. My aim is not to attempt to reconcile these competing theories to produce a grand narrative or proscriptive way of theorizing; rather, I investigate the productive tensions that a notion of queer criticality can prompt for self-reflexive researchers when these theoretical perspectives are placed in dynamic relationship with one another. Accordingly, this collection of interwoven essays examine critically how research has positioned SMGV youth as both victims and, more recently, resilient survivors who experience a daily onslaught of homophobic, transphobic, and heterosexist violence in their schools, classrooms, and communities; it also explores interpretative frameworks and mobilization strategies used to politicize or privatize SMGV identities and concerns through educational policy and practice; and it utilizes empirical research to interrogate the lived effects of these heteronormative discourses and discursive practices on sexual minority teachers working for inclusive educational and social change; and transsexual teachers searching for a valued space and place for recognition of their personal and professional identities in their public schools. Ultimately, through these connected essays, this poststructural assemblage seeks to open up spaces for difference to be exposed and interrogated within K-12 public schools. It also works to help provide discursive materiality to sexual minority and gender variant identities by demonstrating how heteronormalizing discourses impact and shape the lived experiences of all teachers and students in Canadian schools. Ultimately, this research asks whose lives are deemed intelligible and, thus, liveable in our public schools.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 7155326
Last modified: 2015:10:12 17:26:49-06:00
Filename: Wells_Kristopher_Spring 2011.pdf
Original checksum: 742f28a3ecc865d42bec26b7302055a1
Well formed: true
Valid: true
File title: PhD Dissertation - Perfatory Pages FINAL (Kristopher Wells, 2011)
File author: Kristopher Wells
Page count: 334
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date