Success in the UK’s most prestigious educational awards scheme will enable University of Huddersfield lecturer Dr Jonathan Glazzard to carry out research that aims to stop homophobic attitudes taking root in young children. He describes it as “education for social justice”.
Dr Glazzard, who is a University Teaching Fellow and course leader in primary education in the School of Education and Professional Development (SEPD), is the latest member of the University of Huddersfield’s staff to have been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) by the Higher Education Academy.
This scheme, now in its 15th year, celebrates outstanding achievement in learning and teaching in Higher Education and is backed by the Government’s Higher Education Funding Council. Every year, some 55 awards of £10,000 are made, enabling recipients to enhance their professional development.
Dr Glazzard, a former primary school assistant head who switched to Higher Education in 2005, is planning the research project that he will undertake as part of his National Teaching Fellowship.
“I am interested in looking at how schools and student teachers can address homophobia in the primary school,” said Dr Glazzard, adding that the issue was currently the subject of considerable political focus.
He will try to learn more about how primary age children can acquire attitudes that later become entrenched as prejudices.
“A lot of it is to do with the association of gender roles and identities and the singling out of children who don’t conform to those gender stereotypes – such as boys who don’t want to play sports, for example. It is an unconscious homophobia, but it develops later on,” said Dr Glazzard.
“It is about educating children about relationships, and gender roles and it starts with reading stories to children that show different types of relationship. It is about education for social justice,” he added.