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Teachers’ and pupils’ perceptions of sex education in Taiwan and England : a comparative study

By Chung-Hsuan Liang


This is a study of teachers’ and pupils’ perceptions regarding sex education in\ud two countries, Taiwan and England. It is a mixed method comparative study of four\ud schools, two in each country. Interviews, focus groups and surveys were undertaken\ud in these schools during the 2007/08 academic year. There were approximately 2100\ud participants - all year eight pupils (aged between 12 and 14) and volunteering\ud teachers/coordinators.\ud It was found that sex education was taught within all four participating schools\ud and was consistently recognised as a valuable part of the curriculum.\ud Two distinct approaches to sex education were found in the two countries.\ud Perceptions of sex education were consistent across both schools in Taiwan and a key\ud reason for this was that sex education had developed through a top-down\ud policy. There was more variation between the two schools in England reflecting more\ud flexible policies.\ud The strengths and weaknesses of these two approaches are discussed along with\ud the influence of stakeholders such as policy makers and governors/\ud coordinators. Biographic factors such as age and gender are also explored. The two\ud phenomena (consistent and variable sex education) uncovered in this study are further\ud explored within a descriptive model

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