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

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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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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: GLOBINF – Centre for Prevention of Global Infections, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway 2: Health Promotion Unit, School of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus Polokwane, South Africa 3: Children's Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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