172606 Development and deployment of a theory-based pedagogy for sexual health education

Monday, October 27, 2008

Christopher M. Fisher, MA , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
BACKGROUND: Past research has focused on the availability, efficacy, and content of sexual health education curriculum at the primary, secondary, and collegiate levels. Policy debates have focused primarily on the content of curriculum. Missing from practice, research, and policy is a theoretically derived, pedagogy for sexual health education.

METHODS: Seminal texts on educational curriculum theories and theories of sexuality from scholars world-wide were dialogically synthesized to develop a pedagogical framework specific to the promotion of sexual health, as defined by the World Health Organization, in educational settings. The framework was applied to the curriculum of a collegiate course in sexual health.

RESULTS: The pedagogical framework contains three primary constructs: awareness, participatory de/re-construction, and performative agency. The instructor and graduate assistant teaching the course found the framework useful in constructing and deploying a comprehensive curriculum. Some students of the class displayed an expanded and more thoughtful notion of sexuality as it applied to their sexual health and the health of those around them. Notably, improvements in assessing relative risks associated with various sexual behaviors as well as greater appreciation for human sexual variation were witnessed.

CONCLUSIONS: The constructs of the framework provide a guide for instructors to deploy an empowering sexuality curriculum that may yield more sexually literate students. Armed with a theoretically based pedagogy, sexuality educators may be enabled to provide a more comprehensive and transformative sexual health education. The framework also provides a specific theoretical lens to use in researching and forming policy around sexual health education curriculum.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: •List and describe the three primary constructs of the pedagogy. •Understand possible methods for deploying the pedagogy. •Apply and refine the framework to specialized and specific situations. •Discuss implications for research and policy.

Keywords: Education, Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed and deployed the work to be presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.