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'The C Words': clitorises, childhood and challenging compulsory heterosexuality discourses with pre-service primary teachers

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This paper reports on accidental ethnographic research. It arose unexpectedly out of the everyday teaching of first-year pre-service primary teachers at an Australian university. Via narrative, self-reflexivity, and student responses, we explore the interwoven workings of heteronormative, gendernormative and misogynist discourses when a chapter from Queering Elementary Education in the Course Reader created controversy, moral panic and resistance among students. The paper then charts the implementation of various strategies and interventions by the three authors of the paper: Greg, the lecturer; Maria, the Reading's author; and Steph, the Reading's protagonist. While outlining the subsequent shifts in student responses and discourses, we also problematise particular aspects of the processes of intervention where they still point to the insidious power and overarching framework of heteronormativity and gendernormativity that require ongoing challenges.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Adult Migrant English Program, Victoria University, Werribee and Sunshine, Australia 2: School of Applied Communciation, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia 3: School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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