The Social Understanding Gender and Sexuality Program

This program was developed out of the foundations of child development as understood through the indications of Rudolf Steiner and Waldorf Education. A team of health practitioners, child development specialists and educators from the organization, Developing the Self Developing the World, have created this program to meet the needs of children and school communities in our contemporary social and educational climate.


Facilitated classroom curriculum

The Social Understanding, Gender & Sexuality School Program is founded on a holistic understanding of the human being. The program aims to deepen young people’s awareness of themselves and others through the exploration of topics in the area of sexuality and gender.

Each class and its respective age group is taught age appropriate content that is both useful for their development but also provides a social education to support greater understanding, mutual respect, and compassion for members within their own class and school communities. We have found that working with the developmental stage of each individual class, supports health and understanding of the social realities that students meet in the world today.

Facilitators also offer full parent body and individual class meetings giving more specific information about what will be taught in each class.


Training Courses for Teachers, Health Professionals & Parents

Developing the Self – Developing the World offers lectures and 1 to 3-day professional development trainings on the theme of Social Understanding, Gender & Sexuality in various communities across Australia, the U.S., and United Kingdom. The sample course descriptions listed below can be adapted to meet the specific needs of the participants.
Topics for workshops include:

  • Social Understanding, Gender & Sexuality from Birth to Puberty & Beyond

  • Gender & Sexuality in Adolescence

  • The Developing Child’s Body & Soul Relationship


In House Training

A school  community may request an in-house professional development workshop on specific areas of interest. Educators from Developing The Self – Developing The World work with schools to build a collegial and extensive approach to sex and gender issues while also helping to integrate the content from the Social Understanding, Gender, and Sexuality program.


Guidebook for Social Understanding Gender and Sexuality Program

This 46 page resource contains child development profiles from birth to 18 years of age highlighting aspects of  gender and sexuality as part of individual and community development.

Parents, caregivers, and health practitioners find the Guidebook to Social Understanding and Wholistic Gender and Sexuality Education a useful resource to help integrate their own work with the developing child in today’s society.

The document is an update to course notes for the three part training “Working Wholistically with Social Understanding Gender and Sexuality”. The course notes can now be downloaded here for free so that updates are accessible to support the work to be carried by trainees. Schools in which Developing the Self– Developing the World facilitators deliver content to students can use the document as a resource for further curriculum activities throughout the year within existing lessons and various subjects and main lessons across the primary and high school grades. Parents, caregivers and healthcare workers also find the resource useful to understand the progressive nature of the changing consciousness of gender and sexuality within society, and how to better understand the influence of the wider community on the conditions and beliefs in which young people are being raised.

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Course Descriptions

Parent and Community Meetings to Support Social Wellbeing

Facilitators meet with the school community as well as the students.

For parents and teachers of children under 11 years old, facilitators give an overview of the program and introduce specific developmental milestones for the different stages in the child’s growth. This allows for a wholistic approach to introducing themes of health and wellbeing.

Facilitators offer an open meeting with the parents and teachers of the 11 – 14 years olds prior to the class sessions. This enables parents and teachers to have any of their questions answered as well as providing an overview of how best to support their child(ren).

For parents and teachers of the 15 –18 year olds, facilitators offer a meeting (after the class and individual sessions with students have already taken place) to enable the adults to address any issues that may arise from the in-classroom sessions.

Gender & Sexuality In Adolescence

An overview of  when and how to work with adolescents around gender and sexuality. This discussion centers around practical support throughout their development and helpful next steps that educators and parents can engage in to support adolescents in their family and community.

The Developing Child's Body & Soul Relationship

An introduction into a deeper understanding of child development in the light of anthroposophy. We explore what is most supportive for a child’s inner and outer growth. This brings harmony between the evolving body and soul which lays the foundation  for healthy adult experience.

Building Resilience to Meet the World - Understanding the Complexities of Child Development in Today's World

Viewing a deeper understanding of child development, we will explore what is most supportive for a child’s inner and outer growth. This brings harmony between the evolving body and soul which lays the foundation for healthy adult experience. As adults, much of what we struggle with today can be traced to our own developmental stages. By understanding deeply the foundations laid down in childhood we can recognise the healing steps we and others need to take.

Teachers, parents, and therapists have all found this workshop supportive.