Representing Ars Erotica Foundation we have started in October 2013 a year long SexEd cooperation within the frame of the Pestalozzi Programme of the Council of Europe.
The approach of the Pestalozzi Program
Attitudes and behavior related to sex, sexuality and other sexual aspects of the life of each individual have impact on the right to human dignity, self-determination and personal development and thereby include individual legal responsibilities. Parents, carers, professionals working with children, including teachers and educators, peers as well as the media (broadcast and published) and the Internet, influence the nature of our sexual behaviour. Too often sex education does not address the full picture of respect and human dignity, sexual orientation and gender identity, autonomy, self-reliance, consent, social relations, friendship and love. Sex or sexuality education currently offered in many school curricula is often limited to learning about health issues including reproduction, protection from sexually transmitted infections and prevention of early pregnancy. How every teacher/ educator can contribute to empowerment and a healthy affirmative and responsible attitude to the sexual aspects of our lives is the focus of this training course for trainers. It will take account of the need to teach to different age groups and it will focus on aspects such as sex education in relation to well-being, diversity, freedom of expression, participation and association and prevention of sexual violence and abuse and it will develop materials appropriate for and adapted to the different age groups. This work will feed constructively into the Council of Europe ONE in FIVE Campaign to stop sexual violence against children. The ultimate goal is to encourage sustainable change for a positive impact on the well-being of children and young people.
We gathered first in Strasbourg to share experience, to talk, to learn together and to work out teaching methods, develop ideas about holistic sexuality/sex education in schools. There are participants, teachers, trainers, sex-educators, professionals from all over Europe and I am proud that we are three only from Hungary, Györgyi Séllei , Attila Andics and me. It was a great opportunity to officialy put the Council of Europe’s logo on the pussy pillow… As far as I see, most of the European countries – even if they have different cultural pathways – share many similarities in the public and private discourses about sexuality and sexual education as well as the institutional environment of education. This is probably the most important in this joint project: we understand each other, we have things to share, many times we face very similar problems and challenges. The experiences are so much familiar for many other professionals working in this field coming from Eastern-Central and other parts of Europe.
Every participant had to pilot their training units in their countries. In Hungary we made “Sexuality education in schools – Methods” – in-service training for teachers (grade 5-12).
30 hour-long training for teachers (grade 5-12), school psychologists, youth helpers, kinder garden teachers, nurses, parents . The main goal of the training is to provide a basic introductory methodology and a set of self-reflection skills for teachers who might deal with sensitive, sex-related topics in schools and similar institutional environments. Our goal is to help participants to find ways to integrate these methods and exercises into their daily work in schools.
This training unit provides a basic introductory methodology and a set of self-reflection skills for teachers who deal with sensitive, sex-related topics in schools and similar institutional environments. Although participants will also deepen their understanding of the concept(s) of sexuality, this unit focuses on improving teachers’ psychological skills that help them to define their own boundaries and make them personally capable to handle intimate issues. Participants gain skills to reflect on their students’ and their own non-verbal behaviour; Participants learn how to recognize, set up, maintain or move their personal and professional boundaries in a teaching situation in order to keep their competence and confidence and protect both the teacher and his or her students in sensitive situations; Participants understand better and exchange ideas about the term “sexual culture”. How our beliefs, values and cultural norms determine our sexuality. They will also gain an insight to the varieties of sexual cultures; Participants will be able to define what sexuality means in their particular teaching context, what aspects of sexuality might be relevant in their daily work; Participants will be able to improve their own pedagogical tools in school sexuality education based on the applied exercises;
Brief description of the training
Participants become aware of how our own norms, values, cultural background influences our sexuality. In a teaching context this awareness is inevitable not only because in many situations it is hardly possible to separate our personal sexual identity (as we are mothers, fathers, singles or lovers, heterosexual or queer, etc.) from our professional one, but because we as teachers are role models and convey many un-reflected messages to our kids as a whole person. Our training unit is based on discussing the main norms and values we share or don’t share both in pedagogy and sexuality. The aim is to help improve participants’ understanding on the holistic approach and democratic values in sexuality and improve their capacity to accommodate, negotiate, adjust to these differences and to include those in teaching situations in a way that makes them a resource rather than a source of frustration, insecurity or conflict. Since this training unit is mainly focusing on teachers self-reflection skills, their professional and personal identity and self-development, it might be considered to use as an introductory unit combined with other training units such as sexual history, detailed school-sex-ed curricula, etc.
This training unit relies on active, experiential, cooperative learning methods, applying a non-formal approach and using changing-pair exercises, interactive, embodied activities. The activities presented here presuppose an approach that assigns an important role to peer-teaching and to an indirect way of facilitation.
Our last trainings: Agárd, Hungary, 27-29 August 2014; Székesfehérvár, Hungary, 28-30 March 2014 , Pécs, Hungary, 20-22 February 2015