Gender identity: Exploring struggles & school support among New Zealand senior secondary students
This research was undertaken with an intention to contribute to the existing literature and research on issues related to struggles and support for gender diverse students in New Zealand secondary schools. Gender diversity is a classification of individuals who do not see themselves as just male or female. LGBTQIA [lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender and Queer] has been an acronym used to describe individuals of alternative lifestyles. The main objective of this study was to investigate in-depth to understand the positive and negative experiences of gender diverse students in New Zealand Secondary schools. A qualitative research approach was utilised and pragmatics as the research paradigm, as the focus was on the experiences of the learners and view of the teachers. Semi-structured interviews were used as this is regarded as a process of in-depth inquiry which has generated detailed descriptions. The outcomes of this research have been in line with the current and existing literature related to the experiences of gender diverse students in secondary schools in New Zealand. A review of existing literature indicates that gender diverse students are subjected to negative academic and social experiences such as verbal slurs, emotional harassment and abuse. Further, the disengagement of the curriculum and the support of the teachers in schools. The positive indication of this research was the support of the heterosexual students and teachers in the school however, there is a need for more support. It is recommended from this research that the school needs to provide professional development for its teachers and design their curriculum to create equality in the school.