Parents and schools to face rising tension.
Canberra, Australia (PRWEB) May 25, 2012
A new sex-ed resource is likely to create significant challenges for traditional school based approaches to sex education, especially for younger children.
The new program called Things Are Changing has been made available in an international release and has seen considerable interest in only the first few weeks of its release.
Previously, some parents have been uncomfortable providing education around puberty and sexual development for younger children and schools have increasingly stepped into that space. A range of views exist about the best age at which to commence sexuality education programs with children and this is one of the main issues likely to trigger intense debate as the program at puberty.co gains a wider parent based audience.
Developer of the program, Jonathan Doyle commented, "There are a range of topical issues here. First, there is a tension between whom is best suited to provide sexuality formation to children. We firmly believe that parents are always best suited to providing this education even if some parents find it hard or do not provide it all. We need to be careful of an approach that says that because some parents don't do it then we need to hand the entire thing over to the state."
Another issue is that of the differing levels of development and personal maturity in any room of young children. Contemporary school based approaches are unable to tailor sex education programs to students individual needs. This can mean that less sexually mature students can be confronted with information they are not able to understand or effectively process. Some research demonstrates that when children are presented with material of a sexual nature that they cannot understand, they can experience a strong anxiety response. This can manifest as giggling or laughing which some adults mistakenly assume is just pre-adolescent immaturity.
The Things Are Changing program provides parents with a series of online videos and manuals inside a private membership area. The program allows them to guide their own children through content at their own pace and provides workbooks for children to record their understanding of key concepts.
Doyle states, "We are not saying schools have no role to play but rather than parents have been disempowered and have developed a faulty assumption that others may be better suited to addressing these very sensitive areas of their own child's development. With Things Are Changing we simply wanted to redress some of that imbalance and give parents back some confidence in their own role."
Given that sex education is a values specific area of any curricula it is clear that parents may have different approaches to the topic than some educators. The difference between what is taught at home and school is likely to cause some robust discussion as parents become increasingly resourced by Internet based tools that change some aspects of how education has been delivered.
Doyle concludes, "At puberty.co we simply wanted to give parents a richer layer of choice in how they interact with this aspect of their child's development. It is not about creating an 'us or them' mentality but rather about simply giving parents an ease of access to skills sets and information that may have been previously unavailable."
The program has received strong international interest from locations as diverse as Prague, Connecticut and Sydney, Australia.