Queering Science for All: Probing Queer Theory in Science Education

Kristin L. Gunckel


Queer theory is concerned with disrupting binaries, opening space for new identities, and interrupting heteronormativity. In the context of education, queer theory examines both how schools function to make non-heteronormative identities invisible and to disconnect learning and knowledge from pleasure and desire. School science plays a strong role in silencing queer identities and limiting science knowledge and learning. Yet, queering science education supports many of the reform efforts in science education. In the era of Science for All, queering science education is important for making school science accessible for all students and transforming science education for the benefit of all students. This paper explores, through personal vignettes and published literature, how queer theory applies to education in general, and science education in particular.

About the Author

Kristin L. Gunckel is an assistant professor of science education at the University of Arizona. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy at Michigan State University in 2008. Her research focuses on science curriculum reform and preparing elementary teachers to teach science.

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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

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