Having taught on both sides of this fence, I was really interested in a study just published by the University of Ohio. The study found that students learn about issues like safer sex better from a teacher they already know, than from a stranger coming in to do a one-off presentation.
As a university publication reports, "For years, many high schools around the country have been relying on outside experts to teach sensitive subjects such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and pregnancy prevention. But a recent study…found that students learn more about such issues when taught by their regular classroom teacher."
These days (at least the ones that happen between September and
June) I teach full time. But until two years ago, I did a lot more
single session workshops. Generally, I would arrive on scene, chat up
safer sex, chat down STDs, give out some condoms and maybe my email
address, and be on my way.
If the study’s finding are to be believed, my current students are
getting a lot more out of sex ed than did the groups I met over the
previous five years.
I’d be interested in hearing what you think about this. Would you
feel more comfortable hearing about things like HIV and pregnancy from
a stranger or from your regular teacher? What if you didn’t like your
teacher, how would that affect things?