Are we ready to talk about it?
Sexuality Education for Teachers and
A training program in Hungary
within the frame of the Pestalozzi Program of the Council of Europe
30 hour-long trainingorganized for teachers,
youth helpers, school psychologists and parents followed by
regular parents´ group sessions on sexual education.
The main goalof our program is to provide a basic introductory methodology and a set of self-
reflection skills for teachers who might deal with sensitive, sex-related topics in schools and
similar institutional environments.
We help participants to find ways to integrate these methods and exercises into their daily work.
As school educators we think that
comprehensive and age appropriate sex
education should go far beyond health issues
discussing all the positive sides of sexuality
sex as a source of joy and energy;
sex as simply something that is complex and
appears in so many areas in our lives.
Sexuality education also has a strong role to
play in preventing children from being victims
of sexual abuse by providing them on one hand
with a practical definition of sexual violence
and rape, and on the other hand teaching skills
of how to say, “Yes” and “No!”.
Step 1: participants arrive with separate professional and private identities
- Is it possible to maintain such a separation?
- Where are my personal boundaries?
- Where is my comfort zone?
- Do I realize the personal baggage I take to the classroom?
Step 2: we go through the exercises as if the participants were the children
- What are the classroom tools to discuss sexuality?
- How to create an environment of safety and sharing?
- How to create a non-judgmental zone in the classroom?
- How to avoid normativity and acknowledge different values?
Step 3: Participants analyze the exercises from the teachers’ perspective
- How to adapt the exercises to my own teaching context?
- Sharing of case studies and prior experience?
- How to handle unexpected situations?
- How to set the limits of my competency?
Step 4: Integration of the personal and the professional
- How to recognize that sexuality is an integrate part of human existence?
- How to integrate sex ed. into different subjects?
- How to integrate the personal values and the professional life?
- What does it take to be a credible teacher of sexuality?
Are we ready to talk about it?
Train the trainers
We believe that comprehensive sex education can only be effective if it
goes in an interactive way, with non-formal pedagogical methods, with
face-to-face personal communication, open group discussions guided by
well-prepared teachers where we also need to deal with the person’s
In our understanding if someone wants to deal with sexuality as a
teacher, educator, coach, etc. he or she needs to go through the same
learning process that s/he asks from the students. Also, s/he needs to
reflect his or her own position in the teaching context.
Participants become aware of
how our own norms, values, cultural background influences
In a teaching context this awareness is inevitable not only because in many situations it is hardly
possible to separate our personal sexual identity (as we are mothers, fathers, singles or lovers,
heterosexual or queer, etc.) from our professional one, but because we as teachers are role
models and convey many un-reflected messages to our kids as a whole person.
Our training is based on discussing the main norms and values we share
or don’t share both in pedagogy and sexuality.
Dora Djamila Mester: sex-educator, director at Ars Erotica
Foundation for Sexuality Education and the Acceptance of
Sexual diversity www.arserotica.org
Attila Andics: psychologist, teacher, civil activist
and brain researcher, volunteer sex-educator
at Ars Erotica Foundation www.arserotica.hu
Györgyi Séllei: coach, sexologist and sex-educator working with
teen groups, nurses, teachers