Consent Across the Curriculum

If you're in Ontario, you probably know that the newly installed Conservative government has chosen to roll back the sex-education portion of the health curriculum in our public schools to the 1998 version, setting aside the thousands and thousands of hours - and dollars - spent consulting experts, parents and other stakeholders in developing the new curriculum, which was published in 2015. In particular, the old curriculum does not address consent, LGBTQIA2S+ people, or social media use in relation to sex (not just "sexting" but information security, etc.) These lacunae disproportionately affect people who are systemically marginalized.

About a decade ago, I participated in a "Writing Across the Curriculum" initiative at the university where I worked. The core tenet of WAC initiatives is that written communication is a fundamental skill that should be taught contextually in every course, rather than being silo'd into a specific writing class. We worked on materials that supported professors in delivering writing instruction that was appropriate for their own courses. 

And frankly, things like consent and gender identity shouldn't be cordoned off into "sex ed"; they should be incorporated holistically into the curriculum. Because consent isn't just for the bedroom. And LGBTQIA2S+ people exist outside of their sexualities/gender identities. And when kids - and adults - don't know how to use social media safely, it's women and other people whose sexual identities are marginalized who suffer most.

I'm not an elementary or secondary teacher - but I am a professor in a post-secondary program where we spend a lot of time teaching. And if Ontario schools won't teach my students about the post-1998 world and how it works, then I will, in a way that's perfectly appropriate for the subject matter I'm teaching. 

To that end: I am creating a database of lesson plans and other learning materials, my own and others' (with permission), that incorporate elements of the 2015 curriculum that are missing in the 1998 curriculum. My own materials are undergraduate-level, but they can easily be adapted for use by secondary teachers. 

Although I retain the copyright for all of the forthcoming materials developed by me, they may be used and adapted to grade level freely, without cost, by any Ontario elementary or secondary teacher. For materials contributed by others, I will indicate in the link any restrictions on use.

This page will be updated with new materials as I develop/receive them. Please check back or get in touch if you're looking for materials for a particular course or area.

If you would like to contribute materials, please email me.