Australian Journal of Teacher Education
Teacher Education to Meet the Challenges Posed by Child Sexual Abuse
The phenomenon of child sexual abuse has significant implications for teachers’ pre-service training and professional development. Teachers have a pedagogical role in dealing with abused children, and a legal and professional duty to report suspected child sexual abuse. Teachers require support and training to develop the specialised knowledge and confidence needed to deal with this complex context. This article explains the social context of child sexual abuse, its health and educational consequences, and the legal context, showing why teachers require this specialised training. It then reports on findings from an Australian study into the amount of training received by teachers about child sexual abuse, and teachers’ satisfaction with that training. Results have implications for teacher training strategies in pre-service and in-service settings.