How might care-taking adults in educational spaces address sexuality, including gender, when it occurs in various school contexts? What are our responsibilities as practitioners to serve as advocates for young people as they discover and embrace their identity? How might teachers and administrators engage in dialogue that guides young people towards authentic connection and healthy relationships when they haven’t received healthy sexuality and relationship education themselves? The purpose of this course is to provide current, relevant information and best practices for navigating the tricky terrain of sexuality in schools. Students will consider legal responsibilities, theoretical frameworks, policies, politics, and pedagogy for cultivating healthy sexuality, relationships, and sexual citizenship within educational spaces, and how to address and access resources to prevent sexual violence. We will examine how this varies within the U.S. and additional countries, manifests in public, parochial, and independent schools, and presents across human developmental stages. Content of the course will include guest practitioner presentations, small and large group discussion, ethical quandary, and collaborative case study analysis and decision making. All activities will develop knowledge of inclusive and affirming language related to sexual identities, as well as competencies in strategic questioning and problem solving skills, concrete strategies for addressing sexuality in classroom and non-academic settings, as well as the capacity to advocate for and implement systems that affirm and empower young people in our communities.
Logistics: No prerequisites. Open enrollment, including cross-registration at Harvard. Satisfactory/no credit only. This course is recommended for students who want to extend their practice to include individual and community health from a holistic perspective. The course is not appropriate for folks who seek to study an isolated facet of community like legal exposure related to sexual violence.