Have you ever thought about the fact that everything you know, every single thing, was taught to you by someone else? Everything you know how to do, every value you have, every belief, someone had to teach you. Even if we unlearn or reconsider those beliefs, values or facts, we do so usually through not only our experience, but new beliefs, facts and ideas coming to us through others.

It’s a peculiarity of our culture that we devalue the educator, but not all cultures feel this way. The Pew Research Center has done some interesting work that shows that there is no consensus across advanced economies about the type of education that should be emphasized, but certain trends are perceptible.

Most US citizens are so indoctrinated that schooling is simply a means to a career that it never even occurs to them that there may be other goals to education such as analytical thinking skills, independent idea development, moral fortitude, creativity, citizenship, hobby and interest discovery, emotional intelligence…even happiness. These are skills that are taught–they are not a given.

How are you an educator in your life? We all teach, whether it is professionally or personally. We teach our kids, we teach colleagues, we teach clients, we teach friends and family everything from scientific facts to how to bake a cake or ride a bike. But do you honor the educator in yourself? Do you appreciate that generative part of you that passes on your knowledge to those around you, or do you devalue that?

When you teach, what is your goal? Is it teach them what to think (which is violent)…or is it to teach them how to think (which is liberating)? Is it to pass on your own views and values? Is it acceptable for them to disagree?

Holistic Sex Education is a call to reimagine education so that we can open up to new visions of ourselves: who we are, what we want, how we have shifted over time. We go beyond the idea of passing on facts, skills or values to those we serve and we delve into how learning can itself be a joy. It expands us, changes us, makes us different people. It challenges us, yes, but it also liberates us to think in new ways, practice new ideas, and to become the best version of us that we can be.

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Dr Rosalyn Dischiavo

Dr. Rosalyn Dischiavo EdD, MA, CSES, is a sexologist, professor, former family therapist, and a professional sexuality educator. She is the Founder & Director of Institute for Sexuality Education & Enlightenment, and the author of “The Deep Yes, the Lost Art of True Receiving.” Dr. Dischiavo is also currently President of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) as well as past Professional Education Steering Committee Chair on the Board of AASECT. She is a Certified Sexuality Educator and a Certified Sexuality Educator Supervisor.

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