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Critical Pedagogy, Sexuality Education and Young People

Issues about Democracy and Active Citizenry


Edited By Fida Sanjakdar and Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip

Critical Pedagogy, Sexuality Education and Young People presents cutting-edge empirical and theoretical research on the role of critical pedagogy in transforming sexuality education. Featuring the work of scholars from around the globe, including the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Finland, this unique collection of work expands the meaning of pedagogy in the field of sexuality education by augmenting young people’s voices and agency, and by emphasizing a democratic and civic focus. This volume identifies and interrogates theoretical frameworks based on critical theory and critical pedagogical discourses, cross-cultural studies and critical literacy to offer new ways to conceptualize critical pedagogy in sexuality education. Many of the practical classroom applications presented will engage educators and classroom teachers in the areas of curriculum design, classroom pedagogies and institutional reform. They can also be applied to the formulation and implementation of more effective policies for sexuality education involving schools, community groups and students. The chapters in this volume interrogate texts, institutions, social relations and ideologies impacting contemporary sexuality education policies and pedagogical practices, prompting a consideration of alternative models of sexuality education for today’s globalized age.

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6. Sexuality Education in Action: The Pedagogical Possibilities at a Youth Camp (Lisa W. Loutzenheiser / LJ Slovin)


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6. Sexuality Education in Action: The Pedagogical Possibilities at a Youth Camp


Introduction: Agency, Education and Youth

Sexuality education in formal and informal educational settings is fraught and provocative (Allen & Carmody, 2012; Cohen, Byers, & Sears, 2011; Whitten & Sethna, 2014). The lapses and tensions with sexuality education in schools are well-documented, and curriculum and standards vary widely within North American contexts1 (Epstein & Johnson, 1998; Fields, 2008; Gilbert, 2014; Lesko, 2010). This chapter discusses how sexuality education at a camp for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender, and Two Spirit (LGBQ and TT) youth works in combination with camp structures and goals to create an experience uniquely enriching, while simultaneously presenting youth and sexuality education as complex, in tension and, finally productively unpredictable. This chapter focuses on what sexuality education at camp offers youth that is different from formal educational settings, which often foreclose more than they invite (Lesko, 2010). We wonder what might the pedagogies and curriculum utilized at camp contain that would aid school settings in thinking about sexuality education? Also, we consider how confronting issues that schools hesitate to address, demonstrates potential to disrupt conventional and static understandings of youth and agency. We neither present these ideas suggesting that sexuality education is impossible in formal settings, nor that camp ‘does’ sexuality education in such a manner as to be outside the prevention/abstinence/comprehensive dichotomies that frame much...

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