Sex ed well beyond puberty
DEMAND for places in the first two-day course of a Curtin University sexuality and relationships training program for WA teachers has outstripped supply.
More than 50 practising and student teachers have registered an interest in participating in the September program, but only 25 places are available due to it being an interactive class.
More classes designed to equip teachers with ways to deliver specialised sexuality and relationships education, highlighting modern issues such as ‘sexting’ and bullying, will be held next year.
Lathlain resident and Asso- ciate Professor Sharyn Burns from the Curtin School of Public Health’s Department of Health Promotion and Sexology said there were no minimum standards set for practising or student teachers to receive specific training in sexuality and relationships education.
The first of its kind in Western Australia, the Sexuality and Relationships Education (SRE) program will cover communication in relationships, social media, sexting, self-esteem, gender diversity, bullying and resilience, as well as teen pregnancies and safe sex.
Prof Burns said it aimed to better prepare teachers for real-life discussions with students and parents.
“Most teachers have received limited training in this area and SRE recognises that human sexuality education is much more than just discussions about puberty, pregnancy and safe sex,” she said.
“SRE will develop skills and enable teachers to provide innovative and relevant relationships and sexuality education.
“Face-to-face professional learning opportunities and reallife scenarios will help to increase their confidence and strengthen their skills.”
Practising and student teachers can email Jacqui. Hendriks @curtin.edu.au
PrOFEssOr SHAryN BurNs FrOM tHE CurtIN SCHOOL OF PuBLIC HEALtH’s DEPArtMENt OF HEALtH PrOMOtION AND SExOLOGy.