Developing Islamic Ideological Perspectives in Sexual Health Education: An Australian School Experience

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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
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Fida Sanjakdar

Lecturer in Education, School of Education 
Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development, Victoria University

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr Fida Sanjakdar is a Lecturer in Education at Victoria University, Australia. She currently teaches in the Bachelor of Education (Prep. to Year 12) and Diploma of Education courses. She is also a supervisor of students undertaking research about the impact of cultural transitions in teachers' professional identity. Her teaching focus is English, Psychology, Social Studies and Student Diversity. Her educational interests are the development of responsive teacher education, inclusive curriculum practices and school-based research. She has published widely in the areas of curriculum development and reform, action research, religious education, sexual health education, moral and values education.

Ref: D08P0076