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Educational Theory offers Aug. 22 institute: 'Sex Education and Value Conflict in the Liberal State'

by The College of Education / Aug 21, 2012

In its fourth annual Summer Institute, the journal Educational Theory will address issues around the topic of "Sex Education and Value Conflict in the Liberal State." Panelists from around the nation will present their findings and research on perhaps one of the most controversial areas of school curriculum, sex education. All panels will take place on Wednesday, August 22, in room 22 of the Education Building, 1310 South Sixth Street. All talks and panel discussions are open to the public.

"These thinkers address controversial issues surrounding sex education in a thoughtful and sensitive way. Working within the framework of ethical theories, they grapple with the very real challenges of addressing this subject in a pluralistic society that has diverse and sometimes conflicting values about how (and even whether) schools should address the topic," said Nicholas Burbules, editor of the journal and Gutgsell professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership (EPOL).

"Considering a range of positions ranging from abstinence-only education to those affirming a broad range of sexualities, these thinkers provide important insights about the educational responsibilities of schools to foster more informed and reflective sexual choices by young people," Burbules added.

Recent polling data point to a broad consensus that schools should offer some form of sex education. But exactly what should be taught, when, and how are matters of intense and ongoing debate.

The journal-sponsored summer institutes bring together teams of leading national and international scholars to discuss the philosophical and theoretical dimensions of current issues of educational policy and practice.

Click here to see a list of the panelists, which includes EPOL Professor Cris Mayo. Along with Burbules, who will give the opening and closing remarks, other College faculty members who will serve as discussants include EPOL's Walter Feinberg and Christopher Higgins.