Student critical thinking in socially sensitive sexuality education curriculum
Keywords:social sensitivity, sexuality education curriculum, critical thinking
Upon implementing the “Health, Sexuality Education and Preparing for a Family” program in the schools of Lithuania, the phenomenon of the ostrich effect is often encountered, teachers being skeptical about its aims and implementation strategies, especially due to the context of social sensitivity. In such circumstances, significant importance falls on the underlying educational policy strategies, modeling effective practices to empower students’ critical thinking. Therefore, the research was conducted following the methodological attitude of a naturalistic human concept, where teenagers’ efforts to know themselves and critically consider the aspects of their knowledge and attitudes are emphasized in the process of identifying the values of a meaningful life. Research was conducted applying quantitative and qualitative design strategies. Results indicate that the topics concerning painfulness are the most socially sensitive in the sexuality education curriculum, controversial topics taking the second place. The most significant of them are coercion, domestic violence, psychological, physical, and sexual harassment, abortion, divorce. However, it is shown that students’ critical perceptions are not adequately expressed when the curriculum is organized under the aforementioned conditions. It is difficult for students to evaluate the needs of society, establish common ground in a socioculturally heterogeneous community, or understand the narrative of pluralistic socially sensitive topics.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Marius Bytautas, Sigitas Daukilas
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