Teachers' dominant discourses of barriers to basic education in an HIV and AIDS context.
This study is situated within a poststructuralist paradigm and uses qualitative methods to examine how teachers map and make sense of intersecting barriers to basic education embedded in their specific schooling contexts and communities, in particular, in a context in which HIV/AIDS prevalence is high. The study examines how teacher constructions of their experiences of teaching in a particular context shape their taken for granted understandings of the intersecting barriers to basic education. In other words, it explored how teachers position themselves within historically constructed discourses about their learners and the community in which they teach, and how these shape their understandings of barriers to basic education. The participants were thirty-six teachers (ten males and twenty six females) from five schools in the Richmond Municipality. Focus group interviews were used to access participants understanding and experiences' of barriers to schooling in the context of HIV and AIDS. Within the focus group sessions, participatory techniques were used as a means of drawing out sensitive information from participants, namely, a ranking exercise and the vulnerability matrix. The findings in the study suggest that the teachers relied on a deficiency framework as a basis for understanding the intersecting barriers to basic education in an HIV and AIDS context. Five key themes relating to this framework emerged: a discourse of detachment; silences; difference as deficit; normalisation discourse; and a discourse of caring.