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Present and Absent: Inclusion of Donor-conceived Families in the School Context from a Teachers’ and School Support Staff’s Perspective

Donor-conceived families, families by egg, sperm, or embryo donation, are seen as the “new families”, who until recently were hidden in society. This research project explores the way in which donor-conceived families are included within the school context and which class, school or teacher characteristics influence the implementation of the topic of donor conception/donor-conceived families in class. The project contains a quantitative, explorative study in which 151 teachers were inquired and two qualitative studies in which 16 teachers/student support staff were interviewed. Our results show that donor conception/donor-conceived families are very little included in the school context and that both school characteristics (multiculturalism) and teacher characteristics (lack of knowledge, being religious) hinder discussing the topic in class. Supporting teachers by offering them prepared teaching modules, facilitated the inclusion of the topic in the school curriculum and the acceptance to talk about it in class. This pioneering study offers an impulse for further research in which donor-conceived offspring themselves can be inquired about their school experiences.
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Keywords: donor conception; donor-conceived families; inclusion; school; teachers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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  • Het tijdschrift Pedagogiek stelt zich ten doel de wetenschappelijke discussie over opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming binnen het Nederlands taalgebied (Nederland en Vlaanderen) te stimuleren en te ondersteunen. Pedagogiek beoogt naast een bijdrage aan het wetenschappelijke debat ook de maatschappelijke discussie op de terreinen van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming te bevorderen. Bijdragen zullen dan ook uitdrukkelijk worden beoordeeld op zowel hun wetenschappelijke als maatschappelijke relevantie. Pedagogiek biedt: (1) wetenschappelijke verslagen van empirisch, theoretisch en historisch onderzoek op het gebied van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming, alsmede review studies op onderhavige terreinen; (2) opiniërende bijdragen van wetenschappelijk niveau (Forumbijdragen); (3) boekbesprekingen.

    The journal Pedagogiek (Pedagogy) aims to stimulate and support the scholarly discourse on child rearing, education and training within the Dutch language area (The Netherlands and the Flemish region). Pedagogiek strives to contribute to the scholarly debate, but also desires to boost the public debate on the subject of child rearing, education and training. Therefore, contributions will be judged explicitly on both their scholarly merit and their social relevance. Pedagogiek offers: (1) scholarly articles reporting on empirical, theoretical and historical research in the field of child rearing, education and training, and review studies in the same field; (2) opinion pieces on a scholarly level (panel discussions); (3) book reviews.

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