Teaching CSE requires a range of dispositions and skill sets
Those who teach CSE encounter unique challenges from those who teach other school subjects. They must navigate their own experiences, values, and belief systems while taking into consideration a diverse set of views, beliefs, and lived experiences that will be present in their classrooms. They must teach in ways that encourage health and well-being without shaming or stigmatizing young people, or perpetuating gender stereotypes, homophobia, transphobia, or other biases.
The Sex Education Collaborative’s (SEC) Professional learning standards for sex education (PLSSE) provides details on the types of knowledge and skill sets a person who is charged with teaching CSE should have. The PLSSE include four domain areas:
- Context for CSE: Teachers must understand the policies that govern CSE in their area.
- Professional disposition: Teachers must examine their personal values and beliefs, understand their own biases, and have boundaries around self-disclosure.
- Best practices: Teachers must keep up to date on best practices for teaching in the field of CSE.
- Key content areas: Teachers must have extensive and up-to-date knowledge of core content areas for CSE.
[Source: SEC. 2018. Professional learning standards for sex education.]
WHO has created a framework for the competencies teachers should have (or be able to develop) in order to effectively provide CSE. Similar to the PLSSE, this framework breaks down the interrelated nature of the attitudes, skills, and knowledge needed to provide quality CSE:
- Commitment to sexuality education
- Respect for integrity and understanding of boundaries
- Open-mindedness and respect for others
- Ability to create and maintain a safe, inclusive and enabling learning environment
- Ability to use interactive teaching and learning approaches
- Ability to communicate effectively
- Ability to reflect on beliefs and values
- Knowledge about relevant topics in sexuality education
- Basic knowledge of health promotion and psychology
- Knowledge of methods on how to deliver sexuality education
- Knowledge about different sexuality education approaches and their impact