Promoting Democracy and Overcoming Heterosexism: and never the twain shall meet?
This article deals with the issue of including gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) themed materials in school curricula. It is argued not only that such materials should be included but also that the more radical notion of 'positive systematic inclusion' should be followed. Positive systematic inclusion requires the positive portrayal of GLB persons in the curriculum and prohibits teachers, at least in the early school years, from expressing opinions against homosexuality. Using a recent critique of this position provided in Sex Education by John Beck as a foil, the author argues that positive systematic inclusion is required by and promotes the liberal democratic tradition. Furthermore, positive systematic inclusion represents the radicalization of the liberal democratic tradition necessary to respond adequately to legitimate criticisms from postmodernists.
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