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Educational Research for Social Change

versão On-line ISSN 2221-4070


KHAU, Mathabo. Teaching for Comfort or Diversity in Comprehensive Sexuality Education Classrooms? Third-Year Student Teachers' Perspectives. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2022, vol.11, n.1, pp.27-41. ISSN 2221-4070.

Discussion of sexual rights in the context of disability is an often neglected and underdeveloped terrain within the human rights discourse, worldwide. More so, it becomes taboo to discuss the sexual health and reproductive rights of adolescents living with disabilities. This group of adolescents are often constructed as being sexually innocent, asexual, or lacking sexual agency thus denying their sexual autonomy. In other contexts, adolescents living with disabilities are constructed as hypersexual, thus putting them at risk of sexual exploitation and harm. While the human rights terrain has begun to acknowledge adolescents living with disabilities as ordinary citizens with rights equal to those of other citizens, they have not fully been recognised as sexual beings in their own right as human beings, especially in the Global South. Thus, in this article I aim at rethinking an inclusive sexuality education in South African schools that caters for the special needs of adolescents living with visual impairment. I employ theatre-in-education processes to explore student teachers' understandings and perceptions of teaching sexuality education to learners with visual impairment. Thirty-five student teachers participated in the study and engaged in theatre-in-education presentations and discussions. Data for this paper consist of students' discussions of their experiences of the theatre-in-education processes, which were thematically analysed. The findings indicate that the student teachers resorted to their comfort zones when designing their lesson portrayals-in line with their socialisation. However, their understandings and perceptions of using assistive devices to teach sexuality education were challenged and deconstructed through their engagement in theatre-in-education processes, thus highlighting the importance of engaged scholarship in deconstructing harmful norms towards transformative pedagogies.

Palavras-chave : adolescent disability; drama pedagogy; human rights; sexual health and reproductive rights; sexuality education; theatre-in-education.

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