This study investigated the factors influencing whether high school teachers implemented HIV/AIDS education. The independent variables included constructs derived from expectancy value theories, teachers’ generic dispositions, their training experience, characteristics of their interactive context and the school climate. We conducted a postal survey of 579 teachers responsible for AIDS education in all 193 public high schools in Cape Town. Questionnaires were completed and returned by 324 teachers (56% response rate) from 125 schools. Many teachers (222; 70%) had implemented HIV/AIDS education during 2003, and female teachers were more likely to have implemented than males (74% vs. 58%). The teacher characteristics associated with teaching HIV/AIDS were previous training, self-efficacy, student-centeredness, beliefs about controllability and the outcome of HIV/AIDS education, and their responsibility. The existence of a school HIV/AIDS policy, a climate of equity and fairness, and good school-community relations were the school characteristics associated with teaching HIV/AIDS. These findings demonstrate the value of teacher training and school policy formulation. They also demonstrate the value and importance of interventions that go beyond a sexual health agenda, focussing on broader school development to improve school functioning and school climate.
AIDS Care, May 2006; 18(4): 388/397
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