Participatory methodology : an investigation into its use with primary school children in mapping HIV/AIDS as a barrier to learning in Kwazulu-Natal.
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This study examines the use of participatory methodology with primary school children in mapping HIV/AIDS as a barrier to learning in KwaZulu-Natal. The study draws on a larger National Research Funded (NRF) Project1 undertaken in the Richmond area of KwaZulu-Natal. Data was produced through semi-structured interviews of six researchers involved in the NRF project; through document analysis of the data sets involving the learners and facilitators, the NRF project report and the related journal articles based on the project; and through field observation conducted by me. The findings of the study suggest that in research on HIV/AIDS it is essential to seek participatory ways of enabling children’s voices on the pandemic as it unfolds in their context. High researcher reflexivity is necessary in order to become sensitive and responsive to the challenges of including children’s voices in vulnerable circumstances. Findings also suggest the importance of viewing ethics as situated practice. The study ends with implications for research methodology courses, researcher training and evidence from children for policy on HIV/AIDS.