Primary schools and the delivery of relationships and sexuality education : the experience of Queensland teachers

Johnson, Rebecca, Sendall, Marguerite C., & McCauig, Louise (2014) Primary schools and the delivery of relationships and sexuality education : the experience of Queensland teachers. Sex Education : Sexuality, Society and Learning, 14(4), pp. 359-374.

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Primary school provides an appropriate opportunity for children to commence comprehensive relationships and sexuality education (RSE), yet many primary school teachers avoid teaching this subject area. In the absence of teacher confidence and competence, schools have often relied on health promotion professionals, external agencies and/or one-off issue related presentations rather than cohesive, systematic and meaningful health education. This study examines the implementation of a ten-lesson pilot RSE unit of work and accompanying assessment task in two primary schools in South-East Queensland, Australia. Drawing predominantly from qualitative data, this research explores the experiences of primary school teachers as they engage with RSE curriculum resources and content delivery. The results show that the provision of a high quality RSE curriculum resource grounded in contemporary educational principles and practices enables teachers to feel more confident to deliver RSE and minimises potential barriers such as parental objections and fear of mishandling sensitive content.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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1 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 69804
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Published online: 25 Apr 2014
Keywords: sexuality education, primary school, curriculum resources
DOI: 10.1080/14681811.2014.909351
ISSN: 1472-0825
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Promotion (111712)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Primary Education (excl. Maori) (130105)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Physical Education and Development Curriculum and Pedagogy (130210)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Gender Sexuality and Education (130308)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Sex Education : Sexuality, Society and Learning [In Press] [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at:
Deposited On: 03 Apr 2014 23:17
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2015 01:44

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