Health and Sexuality Education in Schools: The Process of Social Change

Health and Sexuality Education in Schools: The Process of Social Change

Health and Sexuality Education in Schools: The Process of Social Change

Health and Sexuality Education in Schools: The Process of Social Change

Synopsis

This research study analyzes the process by which individuals, community-based groups, and institutions organize for social change. Many community organization models focus on the decision-making structure within the community, which provides an understanding of who makes community decisions. In analyzing the decision-making process, this study provides information on how and why decisions were made.

Excerpt

Several years ago, I served on the President's Commission on Mental Health by appointment from President Jimmy Carter. Also serving on the Commission was Dr. Julius B. Richmond, a magnificent clinician, scientist, administrator, and policymaker. Dr. Richmond has been a professor, university department chair, medical school dean, guidance center director, and chief of a medical specialty in a hospital for children. In federal government, Dr. Richmond was the first director of Head Start and eventually served as assistant secretary of health and surgeon general in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is a teacher, researcher, author, and wise counselor. Despite these expert credentials (or, maybe, because of them), Dr. Richmond said during the first meeting of the Commission at the White House that we want the people to appear and give testimony at the hearing and to know that what they say will be taken seriously. His remarks reflected the sentiments of most Commission members.

These remarks reminded me of a saying expressed by many public health practitioners that health is a community affair and is too important to be left entirely to the will of experts and professionals. The case studies of community action examined in this book demonstrate the validity of this idea.

Steven Ridini provides a fascinating analysis of how two communities developed a comprehensive health curriculum designed to promote well- being among adolescent students and prevent HIV/AIDS. His detailed analysis examines a series of events that facilitated and impaired implementation of a public policy that was recommended by state educational authorities.

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