A critical discourse analysis of sexuality education in the Australian curriculum

Paulina Ezer, Tiffany Jones, Christopher Fisher, Jennifer Power

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article examines the sexuality education component of the national Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education (AC: HPE) with a focus on sexuality education discourses. A critical discourse analysis explored official AC:HPE documents in relation to sexuality education; the sexuality education discourses present within these documents; teacher roles and expectations associated with each discourse; and Australia’s broader social context in relation to education. Findings reveal that the AC:HPE emphasises a teacher-facilitated approach to sexuality education, which contrasts with teacher-centred work dominating the field prior to its release. This approach is in line with recent shifts in education towards strengths-based learning in which students are encouraged to think critically about issues. Despite these emphases, and while the AC:HPE is meant to be used flexibly as a guideline or framework, certain ambiguities within it may leave teachers’ roles open to interpretation and practices therefore unchanged or undisputed.
LanguageEnglish
Pages551-567
Number of pages17
JournalSex Education
Volume19
Issue number5
Early online date6 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2019

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discourse analysis
sexuality
curriculum
education
teacher's role
discourse
teacher
physical education
health promotion
interpretation
present
learning
student

Keywords

  • teachers
  • sex education
  • Australia
  • curriculum
  • gender
  • sexuality
  • critical discourse analysis

Cite this

Ezer, Paulina ; Jones, Tiffany ; Fisher, Christopher ; Power, Jennifer. / A critical discourse analysis of sexuality education in the Australian curriculum. In: Sex Education. 2019 ; Vol. 19, No. 5. pp. 551-567.
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A critical discourse analysis of sexuality education in the Australian curriculum. / Ezer, Paulina; Jones, Tiffany; Fisher, Christopher; Power, Jennifer.

In: Sex Education, Vol. 19, No. 5, 03.09.2019, p. 551-567.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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