“If I Had I Would”: Discovering Barriers in Implementing Centre-based Sexuality Education among Malaysian Preschool Teachers


  • Annie Wong Kai Sze
  • Wan Norfadillah Binti Wan Nawi
  • Voon Shi Jing
  • Lim Yeong Yeong
  • Yip Chan Ling


Early Childhood, Thematic Analysis, Preschool Teachers, Sexuality Education


Teacher-related factors are among significant barriers in implementing centre-based sexuality education (SE). While there is an expanse of literature on SE implementation in schools, literature on its implementation in early childhood settings is scarce, especially in the Malaysian context. This study was conducted in stages and the findings that are discussed here are from the second stage that aims to discover barriers preschool teachers face when implementing SE. Thematic analysis of semi-structured telephone interviews of 20 experienced private preschool teachers reveal two major barriers; personal beliefs and competency. Low parental acceptance and lack of support from administrators are barriers of preschool teachers’ personal beliefs. Lack of exposure, confidence and knowledge, and inadequate SE training are barriers of preschool teachers’ competency. Findings imply that advocating for more meaningful implementation of SE requires targetted and practical SE training in order to overcome sociocultural perceptions and enhance teaching competence.