THE BLOG

Can Love Be Taught in Schools?

02/12/2014 04:14 pm ET | Updated Apr 14, 2014

Is it possible to teach love? In our education system we all know of sex-ed classes and the myriad stereotypes that go along with their curriculum: detailed anatomical pictures, STD prevention presentations, and requisite, awkward giggles from the pre-pubescent.

Yet, the challenge to our schools and parents is how we as a society provide timely instruction on maintaining strong, healthy and respectful relationships; not answering just the questions of how to have sex but moreover, "why have sex" and with whom and at what point. With high divorce rates and the media landscape redefining "love" in every new reality show, the role of schools and parents is integral in a student's understanding of love and relationships; and all the feelings attributed to this at different developmental stages.

Helping us make meaning and sense of our current state of love(sickness), is Harvard Ed School faculty member and child and family psychologist Richard Weissbourd. Answering the question of whether love can be effectively taught in schools, Dr. Weissbourd reflects on the state of sex-ed in America, examines where love is best modeled in the media, and why he doesn't want his daughter to learn about love from Justin Bieber in the podcast below.

Download this episode on Harvard iTunesU.

The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts that features a 10-15 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. A production of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.