High school learners’ experiences of learning about HIV and AIDS

Tyilo, Phelicia Nonzukiso (2020-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : The silence around learners’ voices and perspectives and their process of learning about the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) motivated this study. Significant research has been conducted into HIV and AIDS education. This includes research on school-based programmes to support learners, preparing teachers to implement Life Orientation, learners’ views of HIV and AIDS and their well-being, how school children perceive gender influence, and how orphaned learners experience care and support in the context of HIV and AIDS. Despite the studies being conducted to access learners’ voices, little is said about experiences of learners when learning about HIV and AIDS in formal and informal contexts. This study, therefore, created a platform where learners in Grade 10 could share their experiences of learning about HIV and AIDS both in schools and in informal contexts. Social learning theory and ecological systems theory were the main theories that guided the study because they both emphasise the mutual influence of the individual and environment in the learning process. The study adopted an interpretive paradigm within which a qualitative research methodology was used. Since the study explored learners’ experiences, case study design was chosen to explore the phenomenon under investigation. Research participants were selected through purposive sampling to ensure that selected participants were knowledgeable about the phenomenon under study. In this case, Grade 10 learners from two selected schools were chosen for the study. Data was collected through classroom observation, focus group interviews and semi-structured interviews. I used multiple data collection methods for methodological triangulation to ensure that the study would be trustworthy and credible. The study shows that when learners learn about HIV and AIDS, there are knowledge-generation sites from formal and informal contexts that influence their learning. The formal curriculum influences the learners when learning about HIV and AIDS both positively and negatively. Some learners still face challenges when learning about HIV and AIDS as teachers and parents are not willing to talk to them openly about HIV and AIDS. Some learners also indicated that when they had an ‘older teacher’ teaching them about HIV and AIDS, they were uncomfortable, and this affected their participation in class. Despite the challenges they experienced, learners also indicated that they had The silence around learners’ voices and perspectives and their process of learning about the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) motivated this study. Significant research has been conducted into HIV and AIDS education. This includes research on school-based programmes to support learners, preparing teachers to implement Life Orientation, learners’ views of HIV and AIDS and their well-being, how school children perceive gender influence, and how orphaned learners experience care and support in the context of HIV and AIDS. Despite the studies being conducted to access learners’ voices, little is said about experiences of learners when learning about HIV and AIDS in formal and informal contexts. This study, therefore, created a platform where learners in Grade 10 could share their experiences of learning about HIV and AIDS both in schools and in informal contexts. Social learning theory and ecological systems theory were the main theories that guided the study because they both emphasise the mutual influence of the individual and environment in the learning process. The study adopted an interpretive paradigm within which a qualitative research methodology was used. Since the study explored learners’ experiences, case study design was chosen to explore the phenomenon under investigation. Research participants were selected through purposive sampling to ensure that selected participants were knowledgeable about the phenomenon under study. In this case, Grade 10 learners from two selected schools were chosen for the study. Data was collected through classroom observation, focus group interviews and semi-structured interviews. I used multiple data collection methods for methodological triangulation to ensure that the study would be trustworthy and credible. The study shows that when learners learn about HIV and AIDS, there are knowledge-generation sites from formal and informal contexts that influence their learning. The formal curriculum influences the learners when learning about HIV and AIDS both positively and negatively. Some learners still face challenges when learning about HIV and AIDS as teachers and parents are not willing to talk to them openly about HIV and AIDS. Some learners also indicated that when they had an ‘older teacher’ teaching them about HIV and AIDS, they were uncomfortable, and this affected their participation in class. Despite the challenges they experienced, learners also indicated that they had positive experiences. Some learners indicated the positive influence that the community has through non-governmental organisations facilitating reproductive health workshops for young people. The role that parents and family members play in some families has been commendable in enhancing learners’ learning of HIV and AIDS. Furthermore, in some instances where parents are silent about HIV and AIDS, learners found teachers and peer-facilitated sessions to be the reliable sources in their learning about HIV and AIDS. The findings of this study suggest that when learners learn about HIV and AIDS, messages that are conveyed have to be diversified to deepen learners’ knowledge about HIV and AIDS. The collaboration between school, community centres and other stakeholders is encouraged through awareness workshops that empower young people both in schools and informal contexts. In-service and pre-service teacher education should also advocate that Life Orientation teachers adopt participatory teaching methods, especially in the context of HIV and AIDS education.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie studie is gemotiveer deur die stilte rondom leerders se stemme en perspektiewe en die proses om oor MIV en VIGS te leer. Beduidende navorsing is reeds oor MIV en VIGS onderrig onderneem. Dit omvat navorsing oor skoolgebaseerde programme om leerders te ondersteun; onderwysers op die implementering van LO voor te berei; leerders se siening van MIV en VIGS en hul welstand te bepaal; hoe skoolkinders geslagsinvloed ervaar; en hoe weeskindleerders sorg en ondersteuning in die konteks van MIV en VIGS ervaar. Ondanks die studies wat onderneem is om leerders se stemme te bekom, is min bekend oor die ervarings van leerders wanneer hulle oor MIV en VIGS in formele en informele kontekste leer. Die studie het dus 'n platform vir leerders in graad 10 geskep om hul ervarings oor MIV en VIGS in skole en informele kontekste te deel. Sosiale leerteorie en ekologiese sisteemteorie was die belangrikste teorieë wat die studie gelei het omdat beide teorieë die onderlinge invloed van die individu en die omgewing in die leerproses beklemtoon. Die studie het 'n interpretatiewe paradigma met 'n kwalitatiewe navorsingsmetodologie gebruik. Gevallestudie is as studie ontwerp gekies om die bestudeerde verskynsel te ondersoek aangesien die ervarings van leerders ondersoek is. Navorsingsdeelnemers is deur middel van doelgerigte steekproefneming gekies om te verseker dat geselekteerde deelnemers meer kundig was oor die verskynsel wat bestudeer is. Graad 10 leerders van twee geselekteerde skole is in hierdie geval vir die studie gekies. Die data is deur middel van waarneming in die klaskamer, fokusgroeponderhoude en semigestruktureerde onderhoude ingesamel. Meerdere data insamelingsmetodes is gebruik om metodologiese triangulering vir die betroubaarheid en geloofwaardigheid van die studie te verseker. Die studie toon dat kennisgenereringsterreine uit formele en informele kontekste leerders se leer beïnvloed wanneer hulle oor MIV en VIGS leer. Die formele kurrikulum beïnvloed leerders beide positief en negatief by hulle leer oor MIV en VIGS. Sommige leerders ervaar steeds uitdagings wanneer hulle oor MIV en vigs leer, aangesien onderwysers en ouers nie bereid is om openlik met hulle oor MIV en VIGS te gesels nie. Sommige leerders het ook aangedui dat hulle ongemaklik gevoel het wanneer 'n ouer onderwyser hulle oor MIV en VIGS onderrig het, aangesien dit hul deelname in die klas beïnvloed het. Ondanks die uitdagings wat ondervind is, het leerders ook aangedui dat hulle positiewe ervarings gehad het. Sommige leerders het aangedui dat die gemeenskap positief deur NRO's vir die fasilitering van reproduktiewe gesondheidswerkswinkels vir jong mense beïnvloed is. Die rol wat ouers en familielede in sommige gesinne speel, was prysenswaardig ten opsigte van die verbetering van leerders se leer oor MIV en VIGS. Verder het leerders in gevalle waar ouers oor MIV en VIGS swyg, ook gevind dat onderwysers en portuurgerigte sessies betroubare bronne vir hul leer oor MIV en vigs was. Die bevindinge van hierdie studie dui daarop dat die boodskappe wat oorgedra word wanneer leerders oor MIV en vigs leer, gediversifiseer moet word om leerders se kennis oor MIV en VIGS te verdiep. Samewerking tussen die skool, gemeenskapsentrums en ander belanghebbendes deur middel van bewusmakingswerkswinkels wat jongmense in skole sowel as in informele kontekste bemagtig word aangemoedig. In diens en voor diens onderwysersopleiding moet ook daarvoor pleit dat LO onderwysers deelnemende onderrigmetodes gebruik, veral in die konteks van MIV en VIGS onderrig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/109153
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