08 SES 06, Social and Personal Development, Sexuality and Schooling
Sex and relationships education (SRE) is a non-statutory subject in the English school system, in spite of ongoing lobbying and repeated calls for it to be made compulsory. In this context, each school is responsible for determining what SRE it will deliver. Research suggests that SRE could help primary school-aged children to critically engage with their own physical and emotional development, with communication, consent, sexuality and gender identity, but recent reports suggest that SRE remains poor in many primaries.
This paper draws on my PhD research, in which I employ the argumentative approach to explore how three primary schools – all located in the same mid-sized, English city – deliberated and decided upon their own specific programme for sex and relationships education. I focus on the knowledge(s) that were acknowledged and valued in this process, and how institutional structures exerted influence to legitimize, or problematize, normative expectations of what children learn. My research participants included principals, teachers, parent leaders, pupils and external consultants.
While data analysis is ongoing, emerging patterns point to the significance of embedded historical pathways, such as the (now defunct) national Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, in informing SRE programmes and reinforcing the centrality of heterosexual relationships and reproduction in SRE; of the parent as a primary client of SRE; and of the physical curriculum as a foundation for decision making about SRE.
Allan, A., Atkinson, E., Brace, E., DePalma, R. and Hemingway, J., 2008. Speaking the Unspeakable in forbidden places: addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in the primary school, Sex Education, 8 (3), pp. 315-328. Alldred, P. and David, M.E., 2007. Get Real about Sex: The Politics and Practice of Sex Education, New York, US; Berkshire, UK: Open University Press. Ball, S.J., 2013. The Education Debate, Bristol: Policy Press. Beck, J., 2013. Powerful knowledge, esoteric knowledge, curriculum knowledge, Cambridge Journal of Education, 43 (2), pp.177-193. Burch, P., 2006. The new educational privatisation: Educational contracting and high stakes accountability, Teachers College Record, 108 (12), pp. 2582-2610. Cullen, F. and Sandy, L., 2009. Lesbian Cinderella and other stories: telling tales and researching sexualities equalities in primary school. Sex Education, 9(2), pp.141–154. Berelowitz, S., Clifton, J., Firimin, C., Gulyurtlu, S. and Edwards, G., 2013. Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups. Department for Education (2014d) Statutory Guidance: National curriculum in England: framework for key stages 1 to 4. Dryzek. J.S. and Hendriks, C.M., 2012. Fostering Deliberation in the Forum and Beyond. In: F. Fischer and H. Gottweiss, eds., The Argumentative Turn Revisited: Public policy as communicative practice. Durham; London: Duke University Press. Elliott, J., 1998. The Curriculum Experiment: Meeting the Challenge of Social Change, Buckingham and Bristol: Open University Press. Fischer, F. and Forester, J., eds., 1993. The argumentative turn in policy analysis and planning. London: Duke University Press. Forrest, S., Strange, V., Oakley, A. and Team, T.R.S., 2004. What do young people want from sex education? The results of a needs assessment from a peer‐led sex education programme. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 6(4), pp.337–354. Hammersley, M., 2002. Educational research: Policymaking and practice. London, Paul Chapman Publishing. Lather, P., 1991. Getting smart : feminist research and pedagogy with/in the postmodern. Critical social thought. New York; London: Routledge. Young, M., 2013. Powerful knowledge: an analytically useful concept or just a ‘sexy sounding term’? A response to John Beck’s ‘Powerful knowledge, esoteric knowledge, curriculum knowledge’. Cambridge Journal of Education, 43(2), pp.195–198.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.