Examining how major stakeholders within one school district in British Columbia are implementing the sexual health curriculum

Date

2021-12-09

Authors

Wright, Tara

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Abstract

Sexual health education (SHE) in Canadian schools is a controversial subject. Thirty years have passed since the government mandated that SHE be taught in Canadian schools, yet the subject still struggles to secure its place in education as curriculum design remains stagnated. In British Columbia, the 2016 - 2018 curriculum update relocated health topics, specifically SHE, to physical education (PE), the subject now known as physical and health education (PHE). To date, little research is available on the implementation of SHE curriculum within Canadian schools. This qualitative case study examined how major stakeholders (district, administration, and teachers) are implementing SHE in one school district within British Columbia. Data collection methods included interviews with district staff, administrative staff and teachers as well as district documentation analysis. Data were analyzed using content comparison. Three resulting themes explicated how the school district utilized components of a top-down implementation approach, identified deficiencies in the sustainability of SHE and factors that supported and hindered the implementation of SHE. Comments from all three stakeholders highlighted the value of SHE delivery in schools but where and how to best intergrade this topic remains unclear.

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Keywords

Curriculum implementation, Sexual health education

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