My doctoral research investigates UK school teachers’ attitudes towards trans pupils, and looks at how they come to hold particular beliefs. This is important as the support (or otherwise) of individual teachers can have a significant impact on trans pupils’ overall school experiences and wellbeing, which in general are overwhelmingly less positive than those of their cisgender peers.
Under a complex realism ontology, I am using a comparative case study approach, in which each case is an individual teacher. I will be conducting and thematically analysing interviews, to identify potentially contributory attributes as well as to determine qualitatively different attitudinal categories. This will be used to inform creation of a questionnaire which will be completed by a much larger sample of teachers, and the data from which will be entered into Qualitative Comparative Analysis. The results of this should suggest sufficient and necessary factors that may lead a teacher to hold beliefs that fall within each of the different attitudinal categories. Ultimately, the aim is to use information learned from this analysis to identify factors affecting attitudes that may be effective sites of intervention, with the intention of improving attitudes towards trans pupils.
Prior to my PhD, I received a BA in Education Studies and Psychology (1st class honours) and an MA in Research Methods- Education (Distinction), both from Durham University. I also have experience in activism and liberation work, including as a co-founder and 2017-2019 President of Durham Trans Association.
Armitage, L. (2019). Explaining backlash to trans and non-binary genders: In the context of UK Gender Recognition Act reform. Journal of the International Network for Sexual Ethics and Politics (in press).