Meaningful teaching of sexuality education framed by culture: Xhosa secondary school teachers’ views
Keywords:Adolescent learners, HIV and AIDS, Participatory visual methods, Sexuality education, Sexuality education teachers, Xhosa culture
African women in the Xhosa culture used to hold powerful positions in the sexuality arena. That has since changed and in contemporary Xhosa culture, they take up submissive roles. This is especially so in the teaching of certain aspects of sexuality, as Xhosa women are not supposed to give guidance in the sexuality of their male learners. In this study, curriculum posters were created to explore Xhosa Life Orientation (LO), Life Sciences (LFSC) and Natural Sciences (NS) teachers’ views of the meaningful teaching of sexuality education to Xhosa learners. The research study is located within a critical paradigm, using a participatory visual methodology. Cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) was used as a theoretical lens and the findings were contextualised in existing literature. Two themes were identified: 1) Shifting teacher positionality by revisiting pedagogical assumptions and taking ownership in the teaching of sexuality education and 2) Contextualising sexuality education in Xhosa culture through reconnecting to Xhosa values and appreciating cultural roots and practices. The findings indicated that Xhosa women teachers could reclaim their powerful position regarding sexuality when teaching sexuality education and that reflexivity is a critical attribute of a sexuality education teacher. The study has implications for teachers and curriculum developers to contextualise the curriculum in terms of learners’ biographies and to engage local and relevant knowledges critically in dealing with issues of sexuality, gender inequality as well as HIV and AIDS.
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