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Factors shaping pre-service teacher identities in a South African HIV/AIDS context: An examination of experience, knowledge and perceptions

Includes bibliographical references (p. 94-104). / The HIV epidemic in South Africa is among the worst in the world with an estimated 5.7 million people living with HIV in 2007 (UNAIDS, 2008). South Africa's national education system has responded to the epidemic by introducing Life Skills HIV education across primary and secondary-level schools to promote HIV prevention, care and support among school learners. In particular, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has recommended that all teachers integrate HIV education across the curriculum. The Norms and Standards for Educators (NSE) policy document states that each pre-service teacher (PST) must meet 'community, citizenship and pastoral' practitioner roles; these roles entail student counselling, awareness and knowledge of issues impacting the community and corresponding support services, and promotion of HIV awareness in the school curriculum. HIV/AIDS education literature indicates that PST responses to teacher roles and responsibilities vary, and are often greatly influenced by the experiences PSTs bring with them into the teacher-training programme. This dissertation aimed to explore factors that shape PST identities in response to their HIV/AIDS teaching roles and responsibilities as outlined by the NSE policy document and the WCED. Research was conducted with a cohort of PSTs who attended the Post Graduate Certificate teachertraining programme at the University of Cape Town in 2007. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods was used with a sample group of 81 PSTs. In total, 50 PSTs were surveyed and 19 PSTs were involved in 3 focus group discussions and 15 in-depth interviews. Findings from this study indicate that PSTs bring an array of their own experience, knowledge and perceptions to the teacher-training programme which ultimately shape and contribute to the teacher identity they create in responding to HIV/AIDS teaching roles and responsibilities. Based on evidence from the study, this thesis argues that the PST's experience, knowledge and perceptions of HIV I AIDS should be considered when developing teacher-training programmes in order to promote a comprehensive and effective response to HIV through the education sector in South Africa.
Date January 2009
CreatorsArseneau, Robyn
ContributorsBaxen, Jean
PublisherUniversity of Cape Town, Faculty of Humanities, Aids and Society Research Unit
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeMaster Thesis, Masters, MPhil

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