Race, gender and sexual diversity as a challenge for the intersectional approach in education

Nilma Lino Gomes, Full Emeritus Professor/Faculty of Education/Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

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The struggle for a public, democratic, secular education with social quality has achieved advances in the field of rights. There is a vast and excellent educational theoretical production on this topic. However, it is necessary to go further and get out of the trap of universal discourse that fears differences and excludes them, and understand them as constituents of democracy. The recognition of diversity and differences needs to be understood as part of the right to education. Teacher training, school management and coordination, curriculum, teaching materials, organization of school times and spaces need to assume, more and more, the political, pedagogical and ethical duty of combating any and all forms of racism, sexism, LGBTQIA+ phobia.

Gradually, educational research on the analysis of the school space and the presence of racism, sexism, LGBTQIA+ phobia, religious intolerance and the incipience of this discussion in the initial training of teachers increases. Investigations carried out on these themes, their intersectional enactment and in-service training have also been growing. Authors point to the urgency of a critical re-education of students, teachers, other education professionals and the community on these issues (JUNQUEIRA, 2009; OLIVEIRA, 2017; PASSOS, 2011; RUFINO, 2019). Studies also discuss the school as a space for socialization going beyond the teaching-learning relationship, understanding it as a sociocultural space (DAYRELL, 1996). 

The issue of differences and inequalities, little by little, is being understood as a more urgent need for educational training for teachers and students, including as a way to combat extremist ideas that invade the lives of male and female students, leading them to violent acts that result in deaths, such as the most recent attacks in schools and day care centers that were intensified in 2022 and 2023. Building a space for the publication of this critical production and its scientific dissemination is an important role, current and in tune with the dynamics of our time for educational journals, especially those with an international scope. This place for thought-provoking theoretical productions, with academic excellence on the subject, is necessary and urgent. It is no longer possible that researchers who are dedicated to intersectional issues of race, gender, and sexual diversity, understanding their complexity in class society, end up finding more space in journals of other areas of knowledge rather than in education.

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Image: Pixabay.

In view of all this, it is imperative that the educational theoretical production is dedicated even more to the interpretation and analysis of these phenomena through studies and research that face the challenge of interpreting the current educational phenomenon and its impact on the lives of the education individuals in a critical perspective that articulates the issues of class, race, gender and sexual diversity in an intersectional way.

Recognizing the importance of this discussion, Educação & Sociedade publishes the paper Studies and research on education, race, gender, and sexual diversity (vol. 44), which opens the section dedicated to studies, research, and theoretical reflections on race, gender, sexual diversity and education and its multiple developments and intersections, such as: economic and social inequalities, equality, equity, affirmative actions, interculturality, among others, from decolonizing and critical perspectives. This action is a response to the large number of papers received in the call with the denomination Affirmative Actions to promote racial equality in education, carried out in 2021 and 2022.

Dear reader, I invite you to watch the video [in Portuguese only] below where I present the challenges of research in Education on race, gender and sexual diversity.


DAYRELL, J. “A escola como espaço sócio-cultural”. In: DAYRELL, J. (org.) Múltiplos Olhares sobre educação e cultura. Belo Horizonte: Editora da UFMG, 1996.

JUNQUEIRA. R.D. (org.) Diversidade sexual na educação: problematizações sobre a homofobia nas escolas. Brasília: MEC, SECAD, UNESCO, 2009.

OLIVEIRA, N.M.S. Mulheres negras intelectuais da periferia. Rio de Janeiro: Imperial Novo Milênio, 2017.

PASSOS, M. (org.) A mística da identidade docente: tradição, missão e profissionalização. Belo Horizonte: Fino Traço, 2011.

RUFINO, L. Pedagogia das encruzilhadas. Rio de Janeiro: Mórula Editorial, 2019.

To read the article, access

GOMES, N.L. Estudos e pesquisas sobre educação, raça, gênero, e diversidade sexual. Educ. Soc. [online]. 2023, vol. 44, e275110 [viewed 19 July 2023]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/ES.275110. Available from: https://www.scielo.br/j/es/a/kWym5qKLCgwjzBGPCBZYSsM/

External links

Educação & Sociedade – ES: www.scielo.br/es

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ABPN – Associação Brasileira de Pesquisadores Negros e Negras: www.abpn.org.br

ANTRA – Associação Nacional de Travestis e Transexuais: www.antrabrasil.org

Cadernos Pagu: www.scielo.br/j/cpa/i/2022.n65

IES – Instituto de Estudos de Gênero – UFSC: www.ufsc.br

NEPEM – Núcleo de Estudos e Pesquisas sobre a Mulher/UFMG: www.fafich.ufmg.br/nepem

Revista da ABPN: www.abpnrevista.org.br

Revista de Gênero, sexualidade e direito: www.indexlaw.org/index.php/revistagsd


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

GOMES, N.L. Race, gender and sexual diversity as a challenge for the intersectional approach in education [online]. SciELO in Perspective: Humanities, 2023 [viewed ]. Available from: https://humanas.blog.scielo.org/en/2023/07/19/race-gender-and-sexual-diversity-as-a-challenge-for-the-intersectional-approach-in-education/


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