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A. Špernjak, A. Šorgo

University of Maribor, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (SLOVENIA)
In the Slovenian school system, the biological basis of reproduction, underlying genetic principles, human reproduction and sex education form part of compulsory Biology/Science and Health education and are regulated by syllabi approved by governmental bodies. However, the particular methods and strategies chosen to transfer this knowledge are part of the teacher’s autonomy. According to a study by Šorgo and Šiling (2017), we cannot be satisfied with the outcomes of recent practices in achievement of knowledge among Slovenian adolescents. At least part of their flawed knowledge can be attributed to teaching practices. Three factors are of major importance for competent teaching of human reproduction and sex education: a) scientific knowledge, b) teaching skills and c) teachers´ conceptions about these topics. The aim of study is to analyze differences between the opinions of Slovenian pre-service and in-service teachers and of other citizen’s about human reproduction and sex education in Slovenian schools. Another very important question concerns when human reproduction and sex education should be provided to students at school, and whether some themes should be excluded.

This paper is a methodological follow-u to the study by the European Commission supported project Biohead-Citizen. The aim of the project was to investigate how Biology, Health Education (including human reproduction and sex education) and Environmental Education can promote better citizenship, including their affective and social dimensions (Carvalho, Clément, and Bogner, 2004). The study was conducted in 2016 as an on-line survey. We received responses from 163 pre-service and in-service teachers and from other citizens on their opinions about human reproduction and sex education in Slovenian schools. Differences between gender, age and participants’ status (student or employed person) were investigated.

We explored the differences of gender, age and the participants’ status. The findings showed statistically significant differences between their views about who should be primarily tasked with teaching sex education in school; in which cases abortion is acceptable; and at which childhood ages it would be acceptable to talk about specific reproduction and sex topics, like pregnancy and birth, abortion, homosexuality, incest and sexual abuse, pedophilia and other sex education topics. In the presentation we will present detailed findings from this study.

Carvalho, G.S.; Clément, P., and Bogner, F. Biology, Health and Environmental Education for Better Citizenship. STREP CIT-CT-2004-506015, E.C., Brussels, FP6, Priority 7 [Internet]. 2004. Available at:
Šorgo, A., and Šiling, R. Fragmented knowledge and missing connections between knowledge from different hierarchical organisational levels of reproduction among adolescents and young adults. CEPS Journal: Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal. 7 (1), 69-91.