THE ATTITUDES OF EDUCATORS TOWARDS PICTURE BOOKS WITH HOMOSEXUAL CONTENT
[STAVOVI ODGAJATELJA PREMA SLIKOVNICAMA HOMOSEKSUALNOG SADRZAJA]
Anita Lecei – Tina Stemberger – Majda Cencic
Inclusion refers to the respectful acceptance of diverse modes of being, including sexual orientation as one of the means of its multiple expression. Aimed at the portrayal of the current trends in a highly diversified society, picture books with their explicit homosexual content are growing in popularity. It is evident, however, that the pragmatics of their kindergarten use is still controversial, largely motivated by teachers‘ attitude to homosexuality as such. The purpose of the presented study, undertaken among the teachers from the Istrian County, was to determine educators' orientation towards homosexually-charged picture books and identify opinion differentiating factors influencing their perception, such as teachers‘ service length or the degree of the respective urbanization or rurality of the area they inhabit. A questionnaire was devised as a means of data collection. The research results indicate that the pool of 127 respondents was neither fervently pro-or against both the picture books with homosexual content and their kindergarten use as such. Although with no significant statistical differences in the service length, teachers with more extensive in-service experience find it easier to accept homosexual content of the picture books in question but are more reluctant to incorporate their use into their teaching practice. As expected, the higher the level of urbanization of the area educators represent, the more accepting they are. Conversely, the more rural teachers‘ immersing surrounding, the lower openness to diversity on their part, translating into their diminished readiness to use the discussed homosexually explicit material. Close analytical reading of the study results reveals that for the previously mentioned inclusion to become an integral part of the teaching practice, the system of education has to undergo major changes to provide professional development opportunities for teachers and equip them with necessary tools for the skilled handling of such sensitive matter as homosexuality proves to be.
picture books, homosexuality, inclusion, educators, attitudes