Can any teacher teach sexuality and HIV/AIDS? Perspectives of South African Life Orientation teachers

Journal articles
14 p.
Periodical title
Sex Education, 11, (1), pp. 13 - 26

In this paper we explore the perceived desirable characteristics of South African Life Orientation teachers for teaching sexuality and HIV/AIDS. We also investigate the extent to which these characteristics can be understood as parts of a role script for teaching HIV/AIDS and sexuality. Data were collected from teachers who taught Grade Eight and Grade Nine students in South African public high schools. The teachers particularly emphasised the importance of personality and life experience as important characteristics for teaching sexuality and HIV/AIDS. In addition, they felt that it was challenging to create an open dialogue in the classroom and at the same time maintain classroom discipline. The teachers did not perceive that teaching about sexuality and HIV/AIDS was a role that a teacher could step in and out of. On the other hand, they were accustomed to playing different roles with respect to the students, such as parent, friend, counsellor and social worker.

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