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Dr Joshua Curnett

Former Research Student

Thesis Title

Poetry and Pose: Perceptions of Gender Identity for Male Secondary School English Teachers

Thesis Outline

Men who teach secondary school English as a career can be 'doubly-stigmatised' in heteronormative educational cultures: not only are these men schoolteachers, but they are English teachers. As a result, male high school English teachers can engage in an unexamined pose of masculinity in order remain safely within a perimeter of heteronormative gender expression in the classroom. This is despite—or because of—their situation within the 'woman's work' of teaching English language and literature to their students.

The aim of my research is to identify, consider, and critically question male high school English teachers’ perceptions of their expressions of masculinity to signify 'male' within a classroom’s heteronormative boundaries. As a result of this research of male high school English teachers' perceptions of their experiences regarding the construction and expression of gender, we might develop more nuanced, less-binary, and more progressive considerations of gender identity for educators in general and for male secondary English teachers in particular.