Conceptualizing and Implementing a Professional Development Pilot Program for Public School Teachers to Strengthen Sexuality Education

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Professional development and training efforts are essential components of effective and evidence-based approaches for educators to teach sexuality education. Public school teachers, with and without health professional preparation, are often assigned to teach sexuality units with limited training. Although sexuality-based curriculum trainings have been available to educators, they are rarely implemented for school teachers at the local, regional, or state levels. This article presents a framework for planning and implementing a professional development opportunity for public school teachers occurring outside the school setting. The authors describe a professional training, called the Sexuality Education Academy, developed to assist Texas school health professionals working with students in grades kindergarten through 12 to understand the importance of using evidence-based tools, resources, and practices in their classroom regarding sexuality education. The Sexuality Education Academy approach holds promise for professional development efforts in sexuality education, in addition to evaluating interventions to ensure accurate implementation of evidence-based sexuality education.

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