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National Teacher Preparation Standards for Sexuality Education

In the United States, sexuality education is most commonly taught within the health curriculum at the middle and high school levels. In addition to parents, America’s teachers play a vital role in providing young people with the information they need to protect their health and futures. However, only 61% of colleges and universities require sexuality education courses for health education certification and nearly one-third of teachers responsible for sexuality education report receiving no pre-service or in-service training in this area.

The National Teacher Preparation Standards were designed for use by Institutes of Higher Education with teacher preparatory programs in Health Education or Physical Education. Departments of Health and Physical Education can use these standards to improve the sexuality education-related course content they offer or require for graduation by health- and physical education teacher candidates. With these standards, teacher-preparation programs will be able to guide curriculum, instruction, and assessment decisions among their undergraduate students who will eventually be responsible for teaching sexuality education.

The National Teacher Preparation Standards for Sexuality Education identify seven basic areas within which teacher-candidates must show competence to effectively teach sexual health education after graduation: Professional Disposition; Diversity and Equity; Content Knowledge; Legal and Professional Ethics; Planning; Implementation; and Assessment. Each standard includes a rationale and measurable indicators or learning objectives that teacher-candidates must master to meet the standard.

Download a PDF of The National Teacher Preparation Standards for Sexuality Education here.