Teach RSE Image

Teach RSE: Sex Education

TEACH-RSE is a first for Irish education, as it explores teacher professional learning and development and Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE). This means it looks into the training of teachers to become specialists in SPHE RSE, similar to a teacher qualifying to become a maths or an Irish teacher, for example. 

Schools are an ideal place for sexuality education and teachers can play an integral role in providing children and young people’s right to high-quality, accurate sexuality education. It is crucial, therefore, that teachers are adequately prepared to provide comprehensive, age-appropriate, inclusive, and effective sexuality education to children and young people in our 21st century classrooms.

The Teach RSE research survey sampled 14 primary and secondary student teacher programmes and its findings revealed that:

  • 61% of the student teachers surveyed felt the amount of input they had received in relation to RSE was ‘not enough’.
  • 62% indicated that their perceived preparation to teach RSE was ‘worse’ 34% or ‘much worse’ 28% when compared to their professional preparation in other subject areas.
  • 94% reported an intention to teach RSE once qualified.
  • 90% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that there was a need for continuing teacher professional learning and development in RSE.

Receiving high-quality RSE, in turn, has been identified as having the potential to support children and young people’s realisation of their rights to wellbeing, protection, participation, identity and equality, which helps shape how they come to understand themselves, their identity, how they relate to others and their understanding with respect to sexual health and wellbeing

Teach RSE: Teacher Professional Development and Relationships and Sexuality Education

Read more the principal author: Dr. Catherine Maunsell, School of Human Development, DCU Institute of Education

Research Summaries