Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Other Degree Name/Area of Focus
Department or School/College
Dr. Joel Iverson
Dr. Betsy Bach
Dr. Gregory Larson, Dr. Annie Sondag
Communities of Practice, Sex Education
University of Montana
Sex education is not contained to the classroom, rather, it is a lifelong evolving experience for both the individual and their community, which continually influence one another. More specifically, sexual health is understood through communication with others – exemplifying learning as a truly social process. As such, Communities of Practice theory (CoP) is a useful lens to better understand how a community can develop through social learning in sex education training. This paper evaluates the Foundations Training, a widely adopted Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) practitioner training, using Wenger-Trayner’s (2015) list of CoP activities as a guide for qualitative coding. This evaluation identified which types of activities were present in the training that supported the creation of a CoP and made recommendations on how to improve and encourage this process. The evaluation revealed that the goals of CSE are well represented: social, communication, negotiation, problem solving, decision making, and goal setting skills. Prioritizing these goals will improve students’ experience and confidence in the topic of sexual health thus developing and empowering their relationship with the information. Ultimately, this evaluation supports approaching sex education using CoP theory as an innovative method to foster community building among students so as to socially learn about sexual health, for themselves and their community.
Healy, Shanay L., "FOSTERING COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE IN COMPREHENSIVE SEX EDUCATION: EVALUATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE FOUNDATIONS TRAINING" (2020). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11617.
© Copyright 2020 Shanay L. Healy