If this University of Arizona professor had her way, your children would be learning about LGBT sexuality in the elementary school classroom. Kristen Gunckel an associate professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies at the College of Education, believes that kids should be exposed to queer theory while theyâ€™re still learning their multiplication tables.
During a March 23 lecture entitled â€śDeep Dish â€“ What Does Queer Theory Have To Do with Teaching Science in Elementary Schools?â€ť Gunckel argued that â€śqueer theory can be a useful tool for re-imagining elementary science education and elementary science teacher preparation.â€ť
She also advocated for â€śinviting sexuality into the elementary science classroomâ€ť and â€śdisrupting preservice elementary teachersâ€™ science teacher identitiesâ€ť in order to somehow â€śrelease elementary students and their teachers to love and learn science.â€ť
According to a university spokesman speaking on behalf of Gunckel, the idea of â€śqueeringâ€ť science simply means asking students to think about facts in a different way than which they are accustomed to viewing them.
However, Gunckel has proven herself an outspoken advocate for exposing children to LGBT sexuality in the past. The former middle school science teacher once wrote in an academic paper that science books should include photos of non-hetero people and stop â€śhidingâ€ť their orientation from impressionable chidren.
She also penned a paper that accused schools of being â€śhighly homophobic and heterosexist institutionsâ€ť that make sure that â€śheterosexuality is portrayed as the only normal and natural form of being human.â€ť
Gunckelâ€™s solution: â€śIn elementary school, it means not hiding sexuality from children. At all levels, it means providing space within the curriculum for students to see themselves and their families. Queering science education means making the invisible visible.â€ť