Sex ed well be­yond pu­berty

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Town Of Victoria Park -

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.

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