Connectedness is the core of my personal sexuality education philosophy.
The first foundation for this philosophy is existentialism. Through the lens of existentialism, the pursuit of connection must begin with self-awareness and then develop through personal experience with others, leading ultimately to a connection with humanity (Malik & Akhter, 2013). Upon the development of an individual conviction to grow and learn, I believe students of all ages can affect positive change in their lives, if the subject matter they learn is personally meaningful.
Grounded in my core belief that individuals throughout the life span, children and seniors included, deserve the right to sexual citizenship, I acknowledge the unjust social structures and that prevent sexual citizenship from reality. This value is central to the social reconstruction ideology (Schiro, 2008).
Through education, and the educational institutions in which I teach, social transformation of human sexuality is possible. In order to acknowledge and honor the unique personal history and background of each student, I foster an ability to translate personal ethics surrounding sexuality into social action (Schiro, 2008). Through in-depth discussion of sexuality, always through personal “I” statements, I believe individuals can expand their individual sexual identities, breakdown prejudice, and connect more fully with the greater humanity.
Based on the humanistic philosophy, I meet each student where they are, and encourage their full expression of self as a whole human being (DeCarvalho, 1991). As a humanistic educator, I bring authenticity and unconditional acceptance to the classroom, in order for learning of all kinds to take place, motivated by the individual curiosity of each student. I create safe spaces for folks of all ages to explore, discuss, and express their sexual identities in order to fulfill their inner potential.
DeCarvalho, R. J. (1991). The humanistic paradigm in education. The humanistic psychologist, 19(1), 88-104. Retrieved from http://0-search.ebscohost.com.libcat.widener.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pdh&AN=1991-25787-001&site=eds-live
Malik, G. M., & Akhter, R. (2013). Existentialism and classroom practice. IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science, 8(6), 87-91. Retrieved from http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jhss/papers/Vol8-issue6/N0868791.pdf
Schiro, M. S. (2008). Curriculum theory: Conflicting visions and enduring concerns. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc.
Artwork Credit: Karel Martens, via Maharam.