Teaching is Navigating Boundaries.

If we want to incorporate controversial topics into health education, especially in regards to sexual health, there are many boundaries we will have to navigate and negotiate. These may be political boundaries; what does our school, district, state allow us to discuss? These may be social boundaries; what are parents, students, we ourselves comfortable with (or properly trained in) discussing? These may be cultural boundaries; what are the sources of information and influence that either facilitate or inhibit healthy knowledge production? These may be ethical boundaries; what are we as educators morally accountable and responsible to teaching our students?
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What do we do when these boundaries contradict each other? What if our core values, our sense of moral responsibility to our students, conflicts with limitations from parents or our school district? These boundaries are not necessarily static; how can we as educators work to re-negotiate some of these boundaries in our effort towards providing our students the knowledge they need to be safe, healthy members of our society? Should our methods be creatively subversive within our own classrooms, or should we strive to be transparent, professional, and rational in arguing for wider spread re-negotiation of these boundaries? How do we know if/when we are prepared (enough) to do this?

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