Queering the Art Classroom is an educational organisation. Our goal is to develop and trouble the art curriculum to allow students to explore gender and sexuality.
Queering the art classroom takes part in university research, debate and curriculum development on gender and sexuality issues. There is evidence to suggest that homophobia is prominent in UK schools, yet measures to address the issue have largely rested on schools and LGBTQIA+ charities reducing discussions of homosexuality to anti-bullying discourses and introducing curriculum modifications that are overwhelmingly homonormative. The limitations of these current methods ignore the societal and institutional power structures that produce homophobia, which is often referred to as heteronormativity. It has been suggested that heteronormativity, not victim narratives or counter-stereotypes, needs to be addressed in the curriculum to prevent homophobia and create inclusive learning environments.
Art education is a fruitful site for addressing heteronormativity. Art education can promote criticality and inclusive learning, which serves to counter oppressive discourses. Yet, commentators within art education have suggested that some of art education’s strongest attributes - criticality and exploration - tend to be overlooked, especially within commonly used art curriculum topics such as ‘identity’. Indeed, under this topic, gender and sexuality is hardly ever broached. Through the application of a pedagogy rooted in queer theory, Queering the Art Classroom explores the possibilities of challenging heteronormativity through art interventions. As such, Queering the Art Classroom aims to beyond the homonormative inclusion of LGBTQIA+ content, towards a deeper exploration of gender and sexuality.
Queering the Art Classroom firmly believes that queer theory can inform and develop the art curriculum and that the art curriculum can inform and develop queer theory. It is this sentiment that encourages us to keep pushing forward for progress.