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Key Issues in Sex Education: reflecting on teaching, learning and assessment

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Drawing upon critical reflections of staff and student experiences of teaching, learning and assessment on an undergraduate module entitled Key Issues in Sex Education, we discuss the strategies used to engage students in debates around sex and relationships education (SRE). To date, there is little research which evaluates how formal assessments can be made relevant to students' exploration of this subject. In the case of this module, assessment requires students to first deliver a seminar presentation that focuses upon a self-selected issue within the field of sexual politics, policy and practice. Students then submit a manifesto, in the form of posters, leaflets or flyers pitched at relevant stakeholders, and which adheres more to the conventions for political campaigning, rather than the standard essays or examinations commonly used to assess undergraduates. In the light of this, we critically reflect upon student evaluations in respect of this module, address various problems and paradoxes, and offer recommendations for encouraging students to find their own voices when debating complex issues of not only SRE, but also sex, gender and sexualities more widely.
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Keywords: assessment; higher education; pedagogy; sex and relationships education; student voice

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Business and Society, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, UK 2: Faculty of Education, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, UK

Publication date: November 2, 2014

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