Beneath the Surface
The "Beneath the Surface" project concluded on May 31, 2007. However, it is still possible to order material!
"Beneath the Surface" is a Swedish project that is included in the EU Equal program, a program aimed at combating discrimination in the workplace.
The goal of the "Beneath the Surface" project is to raise the issue of sexual orientation and homophobia in school - a working environment that has carefully avoided working practically with discrimination in these areas. Since it has become socially and politically correct to accept homosexuality and bisexuality, there is seldom open discrimination of homosexual and bisexual teachers. Nevertheless, schools have lagged behind in fostering an environment where everyone is able to be open about their sexual orientation. By clearly raising the issue as part of the systematic work of improving the working environment, a standard is created where discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is as unacceptable as any other form of discrimination.
The partners in this project represent a broad spectrum of the Swedish education system. They are researchers, employers, a number of trade unions, school authorities, two teacher’s training institutions and two NGOs. The target groups for the project are active teachers, students in teacher training, pedagogic instructors, politicians, civil servants working in school environments and pupils.
Through cooperative efforts or smaller projects the development partnership (DP) will work with the following activities: research; development of educational resources for teachers, school staff, politicians and civil servants working with education; methodologies for raising awareness in a school environment; creation of inspirational materials for school use; working with training institutions on the issue of normativity - how norms are created and reproduced in a school environment; finding ways to support teachers in teaching and working with sexual orientation issues and homophobia; creating awareness and competence raising education for headmasters; working with municipalities' plans and protocols; and working with schools and municipalities within the framework of new anti-discrimination legislation in school environments.
The following organisations are working together in the DP:
• The Ombudsman Against Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation (HomO)
• The National Union of Teachers in Sweden (Lärarnas Riksförbund)
• The Swedish Teachers’ Union (Lärarförbundet)
• The Swedish National Agency for School Improvement (Myndigheten för skolutveckling)
• The Swedish Association of School Principals and Directors of Education (Sveriges skolledarförbund)
• The University of Linköping, Department of Social and Welfare Studies (ISV)
• The University of Linköping, The program for education of teachers in Norrköping
• The Municipality of Södertälje
• The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL)
• The National Gay Student Association (SFG)
• The Stockholm Institute of Education
• The Swedish Youth Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL Ungdom)
The project will work from November 1, 2004 to May 31, 2007.
Gunnar Svensson, Integratia Consulting
Anette Sjödin, RFSL
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