Presence and Potential for Puberty Education in the Australian Curriculum, from Foundation to Year 10: A Socio-Educational Analysis of Knowledge Content and Cognitive Patterns
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All children need quality puberty education. The earlier onset of puberty, the burdens and costs of ignorance, ill-health, and inequality, exponential increases in technological connectivity, and global health and educational evidence, confirm that this need is great, growing, and urgent. This thesis is about the timely provision of school-based puberty education for girls and boys in Australia. Schools are the logical and most cost-effective sites to educate all children about puberty, relationships and values, sexuality development, reproductive health, and personal safeguarding, optimally integrated through all school year levels and across the silos of curricula disciplines. The literature shows that normalisation and integration of such puberty education content would greatly benefit students’ learning progress, their relationships and social values at all levels, their sexuality and reproductive health needs, their development of individual ethical rationality (phronesis, after Aristotle), and their future lifechances. Evidence-based guidelines and professional standards for quality school curricula supporting early, continuous, inclusive, and equitable puberty education have been developed for global use. However, in Australia, very little, if any, timely or effective education about students’ puberty or sexual health is currently delivered in schools. The existing state/territories’ Health and Physical Education (HPE) curricula, nominal site of such programs, has poorly served girls and boys, so that children glean what they can from their peers, the playground’s hidden curriculum, and media sources.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Educational and Professional Studies
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