Purpose – Using sex education at Shepparton South Technical School (South Tech) as a prism, the purpose of this paper is to analyse the Victorian Technical Schools Division policies and practices during the 1970‐1980s. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on a documented history of South Tech by using a blended methodology consisting of interviews, media‐centred debates and a range of documentary sources. Findings – The Technical Director, Edward “Ted” Jackson's 1970 policy empowered principals as educational leaders, in partnership with their community, to develop courses responding to student needs. This paper analyses a controversy concerning sex education in 1980 that brought such courses under the scrutiny of the Victorian public. Social implications – Identifying the policies and practices of a sex education course that proved successful in the past enhances the development of contemporary courses. Originality/value – Victoria's former secondary technical schools provide an important insight into current social and vocational problems.
History of Education Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 27, 2014
Keywords: Government policy; Secondary technical schools; Sex education
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