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irina Schmitt

Irina Schmitt

Senior lecturer

irina Schmitt

Embodying responsibility? Understanding educators’ engagement in queer educational justice work in schools


  • Irina Schmitt


  • Dennis A. Francis
  • Jón Ingvar Kjaran
  • Jukka Lehtonen

Summary, in English

Despite extensive policy, regulation, and activism, heteronormativity and cisnormativity, and other forms of oppression, flourish in schools. Based on interviews with educators in schools, queer social movement organizations, school boards and teachers’ unions in Vancouver and Toronto, Canada, this chapter analyzes the strategies of queer educational justice work in schools. Working with Gilbert’s call to do more than ‘being on the right side’ and Rasmussen, Sanjakdar, Allen, Quinlivan, and Bromdal’s complications of how we think responsibility, I argue that it is possible to differentiate three strategies of queer educational justice work: reflexive identity politics, intersectional systems critique, and individual humanism. I also contend that responsibility for queer educational justice work is attached to queer educators through fear. It is necessary to analyze this attachment of responsibility to understand how it can undermine the work of QSM and queer educational justice work in schools.


  • Department of Gender Studies

Publishing year





Queer Studies and Education book series

Document type

Book chapter


Palgrave Pivot


  • Gender Studies


  • responsibility
  • queer educators
  • queer educational justice
  • queer social movements
  • intersectionality
  • Canada




  • Teaching sex? Teachers' knowledge about and strategies towards non-heteronormative youth in Canada


  • ISBN: 978-3-030-41609-6