Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Division of Education and Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Ramona Jean-Perkins

Second Advisor

Dr. Sloane Signal

Third Advisor

Dr. Larkin Page


Education, Heteronormativity, Lifestyle Policy, Parent Perspectives, Narrative research


Heteronormativity is the presumed acceptance of culturally determined gender roles about heterosexuality and what expectations society considers as “natural” or “normal” (Habarth, 2015). United States schools are primarily heteronormative (Dinkins & Englert, 2015). The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 required school districts to employ “highly qualified” teachers in all core subject areas by the 2005-06 school year. Defining “highly qualified” relates to the quality of the teachers training and certifications, never mentioning sexuality or lifestyle as a component. Using a critical queer theory approach and narrative research study analysis, this study sought perspective from parents of K-12 students on their view of heteronormativity as it relates to teacher effectiveness. The researcher collected surveys from (n=30) participants seeking demographics, Likert-scale responses, and descriptive narrative responses. The researcher made the following discoveries from the coding process: a) teacher effectiveness is paramount to parent’s concern over their lifestyle outside of school, b) parents support the acknowledgment of non-heteronormative lifestyles as a means to promote diversity, c) most 6 parents are unaware of Lifestyle Policies and those familiar do not support it, d) effectiveness is essential but there are exceptions. Finding results of this research can inform school administrators and policymakers of what teacher and school expectations parents’ value more in their child’s education: the educators effective or lifestyle choices.



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