The myth of caring and sharing : teaching and learning practices in the context of HIV/AIDS education in the intermediate phase.
This research presents an understanding of the teaching and learning practices in the context of HIV/AIDS education in the intermediate phase. Against a milieu of change and restructuring in education is the HIV/AIDS education curriculum which teachers are expected to deal with in schools. From an identity perspective, I try to understand how teaching practices which are adopted by teachers in the teaching of HIV/AIDS education either challenges or perpetuates the status of HIV/AIDS in society. Therefore the focus of this study is primarily the teacher. By employing Samuel's Forcefield Model as a structure for this study, I demonstrate how the choices that the teacher makes in teaching practice, are shaped by a range of diverse forces, which are frequently in conflict with each other. In this study I want to understand how teachers are engaging with their new roles and multiple responsibilities (as described in The Norms and Standards for Teacher Educators) when teaching HIV/AIDS education in the intermediate phase - given that this aspect is a relatively new dimension to the curriculum. From a methodological perspective, the collection and analysis of data were consistent with the Hermeneutic research paradigm. For the purpose of this study interviews and questionnaires were used to collect data from educators. Furthermore, in order to present a more holistic picture of the teacher and to ascertain to what extent, what the teacher teaches is actually what the learner learns, data was also collected from learners via observations, conversations and through an analysis of drawings and poems. It must be emphasised that although learners in this study play a pivotal role as sources of data, they are not the unit of analysis for this study. Thus the major part of this thesis focuses on the teacher. The findings of this study indicate that the guiding principles of a teacher's life, such as race, religion and culture are important forces that mould what, why and how teachers teach HIV/AIDS education in the intermediate phase. On the other hand, the forces that mould learners' experiences of HIV/AIDS education is determined by the social environment that the learner lives in. The forces that shape what the teacher does are not the same as the forces that shape what the learner learns. The concept of 'othering' is predominant in the interactions between teachers and learners and teachers are socially distanced from learners, parents and the child's social environment. Hence the 'caring and sharing' as espoused by teachers is not being articulated in practice.