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Title: Teachers’ views of teaching sex education: pedagogies and models of delivery
Authors: Alldred, P
David, ME
Smith, P
Keywords: Sex education;PSHE;Low status subject;Form teachers;Timetable collapse;Resouces;Pressures
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: University of South Australia
Citation: Journal of Educational Enquiry, Vol. 4 (1) p80-96.
Abstract: This paper is based on a study of 17 secondary schools in an inner-city area of England deemed to have very high levels of teenage pregnancies. The New Labour Government argued that academic achievements and effective labour-market participation are inhibited by early or 'premature' parenthood (Social Exclusion Unit 1999). It therefore set in place policies to address these issues efectively in schools, through a revised school achievement agenda and a revised Sex & Relationship Education (SRE) programme. In this paper, we concentrate on the role and views of personal, social and/or health education coordinators charged with the delivery of SRE in secondary schools. We consider the way a broad-based, inclusive curriculum and pastoral programme fits into the subject-based and assessed curriculum of secondary schools for 11-16 where there is no tradition of open discussion of sexual matters. The legitimacy of teaching about sex and relationships in school has been hotly contested. The question of how to deal with teenage pregnancy and sexuality remains politically charged and sensitive and the teacher's role is thus contentious. We present a range of views about the professional or other pressures on schools, especially teachers, discussing difficulties within each of the main models of delivery. Teachers reprt considerable anxiety about SRE as a subject and its low status inthe curriculum, committed though they are to teaching it. This links with what is now seen as an overarching culture of anxiety regarding sex in contemporary society. Many teachers think that attending to young people's personal and social development - and especially their sexual identities - could help their education careers and academic achievement. Thus, from the teachers' accounts, we argue that there are important links between the revised sex education curriculum and the new emphasis on the achievement agenda in secondary schools in the UK.
ISSN: 1444-5530
Appears in Collections:Education
Youth Work
Dept of Education Research Papers

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