Teaching Sexuality from an Existentialist Framework

Diversity in human sexuality education is also a necessity in today’s diverse society. No longer is the white, middle class, suburban teenager the norm. A broader approach is needed. For example, baby boomers represent a growing proportion of the

 population, yet their issues and needs are not being addressed. This lack of information and education needs to be remediated; that more mature adults are still sexually active and are still sexual beings. In my previous blog, I discussed lesson plans that were

Teaching curriculum from an existentialist approach involves the ability to focus on the individual and directing the intervention in a way that is self-paced, self-directed and provides one-on-one contact with the teacher. Within
Existentialism, people are taught to deal effectively with sensitive and relevant issues on an individual basis where the facilitator can provide honest and candid feedback. Curriculum that focuses on self-actualization and an understanding of one’s own well-being will increase “life satisfaction and the ability to manage stress” (Abbott 2009).relevant to students with developmental delays which are another population that is misrepresented. Human sexuality education needs to address the many types of ability levels in the schools for better and more consistent understanding of the material taught. Educators need to be more knowledgeable and prepared, the curriculum should be more valued, instructors should maintain their boundaries, and sexual education should be taught in every academic course. Finally, there is not one mode of instruction that fits all, and special consideration should be given to those who learn differently. I appreciate the existentialist approach when teaching lesson plans/curriculum as it highlights that every participant is a learner (Four Corners: A Values Clarification Exercise).

An example of how I would apply Existentialism to a lesson plan would be creating a forum where students would openly talk with a trusted instructor and receive feedback from other students in the class who would be able to support and challenge one another. I would also create several stations within the classroom setting that would focus on varying aspects of reproduction. Some of the stations would include: anatomy, conception, emotional, physical, and mental stresses surrounding pregnancy, external stimuli during pregnancy, and relationships. These stations would promote reflection, self-awareness, and expression for each student. The students would challenge one another, which would create self-doubt within themselves. Handling this self-doubt will only strengthen their own belief system and core values. Here are some more examples of lesson plans that are based from an Existentialist perspective: Am I Normal? Exploring Preteens’ Personal Concerns about Puberty, The Culture Connection, and Who am I.

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