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Interview with Professor Michael Reiss

Photo: Michael Reiss

Professor Michael Reiss, Founding Editor of Sex Education

This audio interview is the sixth in a series of interviews Routledge is conducting with the editors of some of its key Education journals.


The interview page has been split into sections which can be quickly accessed by selecting any of the links below:


Introduction

These interviews are aimed at students, educational researchers, academics and visitors to the Education Arena website who are interested in particular journals and would like to find out more.

Each interview provides information about the editor in question and details about the creation of their journal and its purpose and scope within the wider sphere of educational research. Each editor is also asked to offer advice, hints and tips to prospective authors who may be hoping to submit papers to their journal.

This sixth interview is with Professor Michael Reiss, founder and editor of the Routledge journal Sex Education. An international refereed journal, Sex Education is concerned both with the practice of sex education and with the thinking that underpins it.

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Professor Michael Reiss answers the questions

The interview took place at the Institute of Education, London January 13th, 2009


Questions

Answers

Q1: How would you describe your journal? What is it about, in a nut shell, and who is it aimed at?

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Q2: What do you see as the journal's aims?

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Q3: Do you see your journal focusing on any particular areas of sex education?

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Q4: Can you give us an idea of the range of issues and concerns that the journal addresses, or deals with, or explores at least?

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Q5: What do you think are the most contentious issues, you mentioned teen -pregnancy I guess as one of them, but what are the more controversial or contentious issues in contemporary debate that your journal seeks to address?

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Q6: Are there any particular areas of debate at the moment that are taking place in the journal, that you think are interesting or that you would like to draw the reader's attention to?

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Q7: Do you get a sense of who your readership is or where your audience is and do you direct the content of the journal towards that audience? Who do you feel is your core audience?

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Q8: What do you look for when considering articles and submissions?

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Q9: Is there any advice you would give researchers or people who would like to be published?

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Q10: Given the UK's lead status among European nations for teen pregnancy, how can Sex Education address this reality? What are the changes or improvements you would like to see made to sex education in schools in the UK?

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Q11: What other changes or improvements would you like to see made to sex education in schools in the UK?

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Q12: How central are discussions and teachings about values, respect and morality to sex education, and should sexual orientation, love, relationships and marriage, be part of any sex education curriculum?

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Q13: Do you think the provision of family planning services within schools is appropriate or not?

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Q14: What's the consensus regarding the provision of family planning services in schools at the minute?

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We also provide a transcription of this interview to overcome accessibility problems if you have hearing difficulties (or for those of you who may just prefer to read the interview).

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More about Professor Michael Reiss

Professor Michael Reiss is a specialist in sex education, science education and bioethics. As well as being the Founding Editor of Sex Education, Professor Reiss is a regular contributor to other journals focussing on education and science with recent publications including; 'The use of ethical frameworks by students following a new science course for 16-18 year-olds' and 'Imagining the world: the significance of religious worldviews for science education' in Science & Education.

Through his work focussing on issues in science and religion the topics of sex and sex education in a religious context are considered and debated frequently. This can be seen in Values in Sex Education: From Principles to Practice (2003, RoutledgeFalmer, London) and 'Sex Education and Religion (1998, The Islamic Academy, Cambridge).

As Founding Editor of Sex Education, Professor Reiss acts as a guide to those in authority responsible for sex education in schools throughout the world. Equally, as a member of the International Journal of Science Education editorial board, Professor Reiss is able to influence and guide other academics, forever contributing to future research in these vital fields of study.

Since completing a PhD and post-doctoral work in animal behaviour and evolutionary biology at Cambridge University, Professor Reiss has worked in many different areas of education. As a trained teacher, Professor Reiss taught in schools before turning his attention to his research interests and concentrated on an academic career in education. Professor Reiss states that one of his main research interests is 'understanding how science is learnt and improving the way it is taught in schools and elsewhere*.

Michael Reiss is Professor of Science Education at the Institute of Education, University of London where he is Assistant Director of Research, Consultancy, and Knowledge Transfer. He is also currently an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of York, Docent at the University of Helsinki, and Director of the Sakters-Nuffield Advanced Biology Project. With a career in education spanning twenty years, experience as a practising priest in the Church of England, as an academic, journal editor, teacher and researcher, Professor Reiss continuously demonstrates his ability to share his interest in sex education and science education with a diverse and varied international audience.

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* "Professor Michael Reiss", Leading Education and Social Research, accessed 21st August 2009


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