Sex Education in Primary School: Teachers’ Conceptions, Obstacles and Argumentation for its (non) Implementation
University of Minho, Portugal
Supervisors: Graça Carvalho & Pierre Clement
Sex education in Portuguese schools has been a non achievable process though the legal and school guidelines for promoting its implementation. The aim of the present work is to identify primary school teachers’ conceptions, obstacles and argumentation in this domain. The research was developed in three different steps:
Questionnaire data suggest that primary school teachers:
The more influent factors in teachers’ perceptions were gender, training course, academic qualification, time of career, age and area of work. Concerning conceptions about reproductive apparatus, teachers represent more frequently the categories of female internal organs and male external organs.
The debate analysis showed that female teachers who have already done sex education presented more favourable arguments and were more positive to the receptivity of the educative community, namely pupils and parents. These arguments were opposite to the ones presented by teachers who never taught sex education. Authority and legal arguments were presented in two ways: against sex education defending family convictions; and in favour to sex education defending teachers’ practices. Argumentation based on the example was also presented by all, but in negative ways by the male teacher against sex education and in positive ways by the female teachers who had done sex education.
The teachers that participated in the five focus groups, generally, revealed to be in favour to sex education at school, although their little confidence, and indicated reasons to explain the non implementation by emphasising the following obstacles:
These teachers’ argumentations were also based on positive examples of well succeeded sex education and on negative examples of children problematic socio-sexual behaviour.
Since the interaction between the several factors points out the independency of the training courses, and that it is associated to less difficulties and fears, more confidence, more agreement and more credibility on sex education for health promotion, we suggest a strong reinforcement on the initial training, continuous training and postgraduate training to change conceptions and to overcome the obstacles to sex education implementation.
Full reference for the thesis
Anastácio, Z. (2007) Sex education in primary school: teachers’ conceptions, obstacles and argumentation for its (non) implementation. PhD Thesis. University of Minho, Portugal. Available online: http://hdl.handle.net/1822/7337
Institute of Child Studies
University of Minho
Campus de Gualtar