Developing Islamic Ideological Perspectives in Sexual Health Education: An Australian School Experience
Sexual health has a prominent place in Islamic teaching. However, current ideological perspectives of sexual health in many Australian school curricula, contravene Islamic teachings and have become legitimate targets for Muslim opposition. As a result, many Australian Muslim parents have withdraw their children from participation in sex education programs at school. This paper reports on some of the findings of a current study by the author in which a group of Australian teachers developed and implemented an ‘Islamically’ appropriate sexual health education curriculum for their Muslim students. In the context of a multicultural Australia, these teachers wanted to accommodate Islamic ideological perspectives to sexual health in the desire to help strengthen their Muslim students’ identity and sense of belonging. In their quest of opening new avenues of thinking about sexual health education, teachers reconceptualised the curriculum at their school by centering the teachings from the Qur’an and the Hadith, developed Islamically inclusive resources and drew inspiration from the pedagogy of the Prophet Muhammad, the final prophet of Islam.
Keywords: Australian Muslims, Sexual Health Education, Islamic Education, Ideology Critique, Curriculum Reform
Dr. Fida Sanjakdar
Lecturer in Education, School of Education