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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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Critical Pedagogy and the Re-imaginings of Sexuality Education: An Introduction (Fida Sanjakdar / Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip)


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Critical Pedagogy and the Re-imaginings of Sexuality Education: An Introduction


The landscape of contemporary sexuality education1 theory and practice is marked by a predominance of facts primarily focused on biomedical, mechanical and hygienic aspects of human sexuality and conservative, teacher/adult-led pedagogies which do little to challenge student learning (Bruess & Greenberg, 2013; Fine & McClelland, 2006; Magoon, 2010). This narrow and reductionist view of sexuality has led to the production of educational standards in sexuality education which are strictly associated with risk knowledge, reproduction and the avoidance of disease and has resulted in many students viewing sexuality education as irrelevant and meaningless in their lives (Allen, 2011; Reiss, 2003; Sanjakdar, 2011). To improve contemporary school based sexuality education for young people, requires an approach that addresses the realities and tensions arising between the individual and their socio-cultural contexts. There is no shortage of literature which suggests that a sexuality education that focuses on individual beliefs, better reflects young people’s cultural and religious diversity, accounts for (and respond to) broader influences shaping their sexual decision-making, helps to construct the context within which young people enact their decisions about their sexuality and sexual health (Aggleton & Campbell, 2000; Bay-Cheng, 2003; Hirst, 2013; Irvine, 1995). However, critical explorations of theoretical and pedagogical perspectives on sexuality to produce citizens with more critical thinking skills and multiple understandings about sex and sexuality, is acutely lacking in sexuality education...

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