Gender and Respectful Relationships: Real experiences of Victorian students and teachers

The articles shared this week have covered lots of debate surrounding Respectful Relationships education in Victoria. We have explored research on whether (particularly male) students and teachers will be alienated by the curriculum, and what potential the education has to actually address gender-based violence. In all this research, however, what has been the real experiences of school students and teachers who have been through the program?

Shared today is a video from the Victorian Department of Education and Training that explores just this.

In the video, students and teachers from different schools in different areas and from different year levels share their views on the curriculum. While many do talk about gender-based violence, most of the students actually talk in quite simple language. They use phrases like ‘respect’, ‘equality’ and ‘being nice’. Students from an all-boys secondary school talk about how the curriculum has allowed them to help each other out and tease each other less.

Based off these interviews and this week’s article series, will Respectful Relationships really lead to a war between the genders? Or will it teach kids (and even teachers) how to respect one another more, irrespective of things like gender, sexuality, or even ethnicity? As Victorian schools prepare to roll out the new curriculum, only time will tell, but the current evidence-base gives us a reason to be optimistic!

Department of Education and Training, Victoria 2016, Respectful Relationships, Department of Education and Training, Victoria, viewed 8 November 2016,

Paula ChatfieldComment