An investigation into the experiences of some teachers in teaching about, and in the context of, HIV/AIDS

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Amidst growing concerns about the impact of HIV/AIDS on the political, social and economic spheres of our country, comes the responsibility of government to address this pertinent issue, especially through HIV/AIDS education, in schools. Pertinent to HIV/AIDS education is the school and teacher. Therefore this study investigates the influence of school culture on teachers' understanding and teaching of HIV/AIDS, particularly, how a school's culture may restrain and/or allow HIV/AIDS teaching. Whilst school culture is the main focus, attention is paid to teachers since they are the mediators of knowledge. The study seeks to investigate what values/perceptions of teachers, influence HIV/AIDS lessons. The study is located in the qualitative paradigm because it seeks to gam a deeper understanding of how school culture is constituted and consequently affects teachers' teaching of HIV/AIDS. Methods of data collection include observations, interviews and documentary analysis. Data was collected in three primary schools in the Western Cape. These schools were selected to embrace the diversity prevalent in South African society, especially in relation to socio-economic status, religion, culture, race and gender. Intermediate and senior phase life-skills teachers were selected for participation. Principals, deputy principals, school administration clerks as well as governing body chairpersons were interviewed to establish how the school culture defines their position and role at the school, and conversely, how they contribute in shaping the school's culture.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 88-93).