This week we had guest presenters Tymarah and Kate come to lead us through the first of two lessons related to the Health and Career Education curriculum regarding sexual health education. This week we discussed values. We brainstormed where we learned our values, how societal values can change over time, and how there can be more than one perspective on any situation, depending on how you perceive it.
We also participated in an activity where students took words and phrases like “acceptance”, “laughter”, “trust” and “jealousy” and placed them along a continuum of healthy and unhealthy relationships. We spent a lot of time considering the effects of these characteristics on friendships and on individuals, and as usual, our very thoughtful class of critical thinkers had a lot to say about some of these ideas. For instance, the characteristic “one person tries to change the other” was originally located under “unhealthy” when the students were considering individual relationships, but students raised the idea that when people are protesting or demonstrating political issues, this is a positive activity aimed at changing people’s point of view in a non-coercive way. Another student pointed out that laughter, when imagined as a shared activity can be a sign of a healthy relationship, but if the laughter is aimed at someone, it could be hurtful.
Our facilitators talked with us about how strong healthy relationships can withstand many challenges, and that the key to healthy relationships include communication, respect, empathy, cooperation and inclusion.
We are also very proud to be part of a UBC study during these sessions: Graduate student Larissa (Lars) has been attending, and will speak with many students from the class about their learning, in order to investigate how students learn about sexual health, and to inform future Sexual Health programming for youth in schools.
(no student contributors this week – too busy! – but students, please feel free to comment or add)