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Sex education: teachers' and future teachers' conceptions and social representations; what relevance for teachers' training?

Abstract : This paper presents the results of a questionnaire about teachers' and pre-teachers' representations coming from 17 countries (Europe, Africa, Middle-East) include in the European FP6 Biohead-Citizen research project which aims to understand how health and sex education can contribute to improving citizenship. School Sex Education is nowadays an important public health issue as it concerns not only youth AIDS prevention (and other sexually transmitted infections) and adolescent pregnancy prevention but also interpersonal relationships and psychosocial issues. Therefore school appears the best place to improve sex education and contributes to promote better citizenship. Questionnaire analyses the social representations and practices of teachers in several countries, focusing on their differences and associating them to controlled parameters (e.g. social context, religion, gender). In this communication we analyze data concerning teachers' and future teachers' conceptions on the topic of sex education derived from a questionnaire that was constructed and tested during the first year of the project. The questionnaire was completed by 5189 teachers and future teachers. We used statistical multivariate analyses, a method that has become standard for investigating complex data derived from many individuals that needs to be analyzed according to many variables (here we have used the responses to the questions as variables). The results show that the factors that correlate most closely with the teachers' and future teachers' conceptions are religion, the level of belief in God and the level of religious practices. It was also found that the level of teaching (primary versus secondary school) is also correlated with different conceptions on sex education. Detailed results will be presented and discussed.
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Dominique Berger, Salah-Eddine Khzami, Didier Jourdan, Sandie Bernard, Graça Carvalho. Sex education: teachers' and future teachers' conceptions and social representations; what relevance for teachers' training?. Colloque international du CREAD 2008 : Efficacité et équité en éducation, Nov 2008, Rennes, France. ⟨hal-01098340⟩

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