2.2 “Parental Rights” Special Series: “Rights language is inherently divisive.” with Dr. Lauren Bialystok

2.2 “Parental Rights” Special Series: “Rights language is inherently divisive.” with Dr. Lauren Bialystok

Episode Description
In this second episode in a four part mini series about “parental rights”, Stephen and Shannon speak to Dr. Lauren Bialystok.

Professor Lauren Bialystok is an Associate Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in the Department of Social Justice Education. Her areas of expertise are ethics and education, identity, feminist philosophy, social and political philosophy, and women’s health and sexuality. She is the co-author (with Lisa Andersen) of Touchy Subject: The History and Philosophy of Sex Education (Chicago, 2022) and author of a forthcoming book on identity and education.
Bio Source: https://discover.research.utoronto.ca/11213-lauren-bialystok

Through this episode, Dr. Bialystok shares her perspective on what is motivating the parental rights movement. Drawing on her recently co-authored book, Touchy Subject, Dr. Bialystok explains how the history of sex education can shed light on the current context. Stephen and Shannon also ask Lauren about her writing on the conflicts surrounding comprehensive sex education in Ontario, specifically about the way political leaders have used the conflict to create division, undermine public education, and deprofessionalize teachers. Lauren offers a clear perspective as to why we cannot cater curriculum to particular parents. Importantly, she reminds listeners that children’s rights exist, while codified parents’ rights do not.

Episode Resources
Bialystok, L. (2017). My Child, My Choice? Mandatory Curriculum, Sex, and the Conscience of Parents. https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/78899

Bialystok, L. (2019). Ontario Teachers’ Perceptions of the Controversial Update to Sexual Health and Human Development. Canadian Journal of Education / Revue Canadienne de l’éducation, 42(1), 1–41.

Bialystok, L., & Andersen, L. M. F. (2022). Touchy Subject: The History and Philosophy of Sex Education. University of Chicago Press.

Bialystok, L., & Wright, J. (2019). ‘Just Say No’: Public dissent over sexuality education and the Canadian national imaginary. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 40(3), 343–357. https://doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2017.1333085

Bialystok, L., Wright, J., Berzins, T., Guy, C., & Osborne, E. (2020). The appropriation of sex education by conservative populism. Curriculum Inquiry, 50(4), 330–351. https://doi.org/10.1080/03626784.2020.1809967

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Shannon D. M. Moore

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba

Shannon D.M. Moore is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at The University of Manitoba. Prior to joining the faculty, Shannon was a social studies and English teacher in the public school system in British Columbia for 19 years. Shannon is a public education advocate, and a founding member of People for Public Education Manitoba (@PublicEdMB). Moore’s research interests include media and digital literacies in the social studies classroom, the impacts of online learning on teachers and teaching, and the impacts of neoliberalism on public education.

Stephen Hurley

Chief Catalyst voicEd Radio Canada

Stephen Hurley has spent nearly 40 years as an educator. He has experience as a classroom teacher, a curriculum consultant, a teacher educator and a policy observer. As the founder and chief catalyst at voicEd Radio, Hurley is passionate about nurturing stronger relationships between education research, practice and policy.