LGBT Issues in Norwegian Textbooks

Shared or Fragmented Responsibility?

  • Bjørn Smestad Oslo Metropolitan University
Keywords: primary and lower secondary school, textbooks, LGBT, heteronormativity


In Norway, a model for schools’ teaching about LGBT issues is chosen where the responsibility is divided between different school subjects: social science, natural science, RLE2 (religion, philosophies of life and ethics), Norwegian and English. This article looks at how this is implemented in the textbooks. 129 text-books in Norwegian primary and lower secondary education (grades 1–10) are analysed. Of these, 246 textbook pages included LGBT issues. In this article, I discuss how LGBT issues are included in Norwegian textbooks and how the divided responsibility between school subjects work. The most striking finding is that of the five subjects, English and Norwegian have the least demanding curriculum goals, but still the largest number of pages related to LGBT issues. The inclusion of fictional voices makes possible a nomadic perspective (observing issues from multiple perspectives). It is also striking that about half of the textbook pages are in 10th grade textbooks. Heteronormativity is still a problem, and bisexual and transgendered people are far less visible than lesbian and gay people are.



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How to Cite
Smestad, B. (2018). LGBT Issues in Norwegian Textbooks. Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE), 2(4), 4-20.