Practitioner Perceptions of Pedagogy in Respect of Sex Education in Catholic and Non-Catholic Schools in South Wales
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The teen pregnancy rates in the United Kingdom (UK) are currently the highest in Western Europe and young people are increasingly at a greater risk of contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Sex education remains unreliable in confronting these issues as a result of patchy provision. Lack of subject guidance has left schools developing individual programs which are influenced by numerous factors including practitioner beliefs and values. This study focuses on practitioner perceptions of sex education between Catholic and Non-Catholic secondary schools. It explores how individual practitioner perceptions shape the content of Sex and Relationships Education (SRE); paying particular attention to the role of religion. The general difficulties faced by SRE practitioners are discussed in addition to future recommendations. The study adopted a qualitative methodology; using semi-structured interviews and observations to collect the relevant data. The sources of data included two SRE practitioners; one employed by a Catholic school and the other a Non-Catholic school. Both practitioners participated in recorded interviews; each interview followed a set of carefully considered questions. An observation was carried out by the researcher during SRE lessons at each school. Comparing and contrasting perceptions of practitioners from both a faith and non-faith school enabled the researcher to demonstrate the role religion played in developing individual curriculums. The findings of the study revealed disparities between what the practitioners deemed suitable content; highlighting contraception and abstinence as areas of concern. The results found that lack of teacher training continues to be a significant barrier to successful SRE. The study suggests further enquiries that need to be carried out in order to improve the effectiveness of the subject.
BA (Hons) Education Studies and Early Childhood Studies
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