Health Education & PSHE (1987)
Health Education in the context of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
Putting Health Education and PSHE into the core school,curriculum is not a new idea. Here’s an example of how the PSHE / Health Education debate was shaping up in 1987.
Back then there was more emphasis on (trying to stop) teachers from talking with children about homosexuality and contraception, and less on some of the issues challenging us in the 2010s… but much nonetheless remains the same, when it comes to the ‘moral majority’ (if it so be) versus the ‘educational progressives’.
Perhaps the progressives are in fact winning the public debate – a recent study suggests that the percentage of voters against abortion, for instance, is dropping rapidly – but the ‘progressive’ case has not as been embraced by all those who control the curriculum.
And this is even moreso when it comes to the really difficult issues, such as violence against women and girls (e.g. female genital mutilation) – not on the agenda at all back in the 1980s and ’90s. But until there is (age-appropriate) open and straightforward discussion of these matters in schools, they will not be resolved – and children will continue to suffer, sometimes grievously, because of our curricular cowardice.
How much longer will it be before politicians face up to the real challenges with which children are confronted on their journey to approach adulthood?
I hope the article below helps to show that the need for grounded, well-delivered Health Education, in the context of PSHE, is incontrovertible.
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Social Science Teacher, Vol. 17, No. 1 (1987)
Sociology And Health Education In The Curriculum