After looking at several of the organ systems within the human body in overview in Chapter 2, the next three chapters will now look at some of these systems in more detail. This chapter on “Human reproduction” starts off by looking at the purpose of reproduction and how humans mature during puberty in order to be able to reproduce. This will be very relevant to your learners as they are in this stage in their lives at the moment. Be aware that learners might not feel comfortable discussing reproduction in the classroom, hormones that stimulate secondary sex characteristics girls older teens might laugh or make inappropriate jokes to conceal their own discomfort.
Respect your learners’ questions and concerns. Some of them may not have had an opportunity before to ask questions about reproduction, especially if their parents did not feel comfortable discussing this with them. This is a sensitive topic, and learners might be embarrassed to ask questions. Encourage your learners to ask questions and not be embarrassed. Discuss processes openly so that learners are comfortable within the classroom environment to talk and learn about reproduction and how it influences their lives.
Discourage and discipline any laughing or disrespectful behavior from other students. Possibly bring in a guest speaker. Learners might feel more comfortable asking a stranger questions. Also, if you bring in an expert, such as a gynecologist or midwife, learners might take the subject more seriously. If necessary, you can separate boys and girls. For example, if you are showing a graphic video about the female reproductive organs, it might be useful to have the boys watch a similar video in another room that explains the male reproductive organs. Avoid portraying the reproductive system in a negative light or as “forbidden” as this will only add to some of the discomfort that learners might already feel.
At this stage in their lives, learners are already very interested in reproduction and the changes that their bodies are going through. This is natural and should be embraced so that they are educated and can make informed choices about their sexual health going forward. What is puberty and what does it mean when we “reach puberty”? Why do we all go through puberty at different times and rates? What changes take place inside our bodies during puberty?
What do our reproductive organs look like when they are mature? What is menstruation and why does it occur once a month? How does a baby grow inside a woman’s uterus? Are there ways to prevent pregnancy and the transmission of STDs?
At this stage in your life, your body is probably going through all sorts of changes as it grows, develops and matures. In this chapter we will learn more about these changes and why they occur. You can use this section to open up discussion about population growth and population control. At the end of the chapter there is a debate regarding contraceptives but teachers may choose to include a discussion on the different ethical points of view regarding contraceptives at this point already. Video on our world population growth. Reflecting on population growth An interesting suggestion if you have an internet connection and a projector or smartboard to display a website, is to open up the link provided here in the visit box on our “Breathing Earth”. This simulation very clearly shows how our population is growing.
You can open up the link at the start of the lesson and leave it running for the duration. Have a look at the website link provided in the visit box about our “Breathing Earth”. This will give you an idea about how our population is growing. In 2011 the world’s population grew to 7 billion people, one billion more since 1999. In ancient times, countries such as India, Rome and Greece, saw a large population as a source of power. The Romans even made laws about how many babies a couple could have and punished those who did not follow the rules. 7-million people, in the space of 10 years to reach a total of 51.
This is according to the country’s latest national census which took place in 2011. The last census took place 10 years previously in 2001. These questions are meant to stimulate discussion within your class. You can go through these as a class or learners can then do them individually and then discuss their answers.
List any possible reasons why you think South Africa would want to have a large population. What are some advantages and disadvantages to the country in which the number of children per couple is limited so that the population growth is limited? Predict what possible long-term problems might arise if the population in South Africa continues to grow at the fast rate at which it is currently growing. With fewer resources to go around many might starve and since they might not have work or social grants to support them. This might also lead to increased crime as people try to provide for themselves and their children, as well as drug and alcohol abuse as a coping mechanism.