Last month in Wiesbaden, the picturesque German city famous for champagne and hot springs, around 2, parents protested over changes to the school curriculum. The cause of the furore? That children would be bombarded with lessons about anal sex, dildos and dark rooms. Despite their fears, anal sex is not being snuck into lessons. What schools are being asked to do is encourage acceptance of different lifestyles and identities. The Hessian ministry of education has said that, from this autumn, teachers must have conversations about sexual and gender diversity with children — not only in sex education classes, which are mandatory in Germany, but in subjects like English and maths too. The issue is brought in on a day-to-day basis. So, what are teachers actually teaching? Guido Mayus, an openly gay biology teacher in Potsdam, a city close to Berlin, teaches sexual and gender diversity during sex education and biology classes.
Highlighting Strategies for Student Success
How to teach … sex education
AP — California has overhauled its sex education guidance for public school teachers, encouraging them to talk about gender identity with kindergartners and give advice to LGBT teenagers for navigating relationships and having safe sex. LGBT advocates praised the new recommendations for giving attention to a community that is often left out of sex education policies. But some parents and conservative groups assailed the more than page document as an assault on parental rights, arguing it exposes children to ideas about sexuality and gender that should be taught at home. The guidance approved Wednesday by the California State Board of Education does not require educators to teach anything. It is designed as a guide for teachers to meet state standards on health education, such as nutrition, physical activity and combating alcohol and drug abuse. Much of the pushback focused not on the framework, but on the books it recommends students read.
Sign up for EdSource's daily newsletter
A teacher in the Netherlands holds up a picture book to her kindergarten class. In the book is a mother kangaroo with her baby. Turning to look at the speaker, she continues, "and when do you hug someone? Sex education, or more accurately sexuality education, begins at the earliest levels of schooling in the Netherlands.