Professional Learning Standards

Think about the person who taught your sex education classes. What comes to mind? Do you recall someone who was ill-equipped and uncomfortable? Or do you recall a person who was passionate about the subject and well-prepared to teach a sensitive topic to young people? Professional learning standards for sex education help ensure that all sex educators are adequately prepared to deliver instruction effectively.

Professional preparation for teaching sex education can make all the difference between a positive experience and one that leaves a lasting negative impression. With that in mind, a group of 20 organizations worked together to form the Sex Education Collaborative. Over the course of two years, they developed the Professional Learning Standards for Sex Education (PLSSE) and support documents.

The PLSSE provide guidance on the essential components needed to implement sex education, including content, skills, and disposition.

These four documents are included:

PLSSE cover image

  1. Professional Learning Standards for Sex Education (PLSSE): These standards provide guidance to school administrators and classroom educators about the content, skills, and professional disposition needed to implement sex education effectively. The PLSSE can also help educators stay up-to-date on content and teaching methods as both information related to sex and research on best practices frequently change.
  2. Professional Learning Standards for Sex Education Fact Sheet: This one-page summary lists the PLSSE, explains how to use them, and who developed them.
  3. Assessment Tool: This tool is a companion to the PLSSE to help identify needs for professional development and/or technical assistance among those who teach or will teach sex education. It is intended to be used as a self-assessment.
  4. Professional Disposition Assessment Tool: The supplement allows sex educators to assess their professional disposition related to teaching sex education.
  5. Glossary: This glossary defines terms used in the PLSSE and sex education.

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Updated 2023-10-8

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