Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 8, October 3, 2005


Sex and Shame: Authenticity in Adult Education

Charles J. Glickman, PhD



The relationship between authenticity, or the expression of the genuine self, and transformative adult education was explored through the development of a model of adult education that was used to design and conduct a semester-long course titled Sex and Shame, Spirit and Power for Unitarian-Universalist seminary learners. Grounded Theory analysis of interviews with Unitarian-Universalist ministers and seminary learners was used to analyze the professional needs of Unitarian-Universalist ministers. This analysis was foundation for the development of the objectives of the course. The progression of the course and the implementation of the model of adult learning is described through a first-person narrative of the semester. Details of the course material are provided in Chapters 5 and 6.

The academic success of the course was determined through qualitative and quantitative measures of the learners’ meeting the course objectives, including analysis of the learners’ journals, observations in the classroom, and the Sexuality Opinion Survey. The relationships among the course content, the application of adult learning theories, the authenticity of each of the learners and the authenticity of the teacher are explored through reflective analysis and first-person narrative in order to demonstrate how authentic teaching and authentic learning can be supported by a model of effective adult education theories. A general framework for adult education which can be adapted to meet the needs of teachers, learners and subjects is offered as a way to facilitate authenticity in adult education.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Overview of Adult Education

Chapter 3 Applying the Theories to Practice: A Model of Effective Adult Education

Chapter 4 Phase 1: Using Grounded Theory as a Tool for Needs Assessment

Chapter 5 Overview of Shame Theories

Chapter 6 Teaching the Class

Chapter 7 Phase 2: Measures of Effectiveness

Chapter 8 How Did the Model Support My Authenticity?

Chapter 9 Conclusions


Works Cited

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