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ASKAIDS Project 2

The second ASKAIDS project was launched in January 2011 and took place in six countries: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania.

Aims of the project

This phase aimed to use the knowledge gained from Phase 1 where we learned some key details both from our own and others’ work. The fundamental concepts underpinning the work of Phase 2 were:

  • That teachers are key and particularly teacher agency, i.e. the confidence and ability of the teacher to do this work in complex sociocultural settings. We therefore sought to build on and explore supporting teachers’ work in the classroom, finding ways of working to nurture teacher agency.
  • That dialogue between pupils, teachers and stakeholders was identified as potentially a way of addressing sociocultural tensions. As such, we set out to explore the possibility of gaining a sociocultural agreement in local contexts.
  • That a hybrid curriculum, i.e. one that incorporates and uses young people’s informal, formal or school knowledge, was worth pursuing.
  • That consulting pupils was productive and powerful.
  • That it was important to aim for sustainable development, i.e. one that was realistic and suited to the local context, avoiding dependence on external support, so of necessity a frugal innovation.

Research questions

Overarching question

Could we build a hybrid curriculum in AIDS education through dialogue and consultation and what impact would that have on teachers, pupils, stakeholders and the curriculum?

We also addressed these sub-questions:-

  1. What use is made of the young people’s and the stakeholders’ knowledge?
  2. What difference do dialogue and consultation make to the curriculum’s content and pedagogy?
  3. a) What are the obstacles and facilitators of the process for teachers? and b) How can we develop teachers' agency and confidence?
  4. a) What are the obstacles and facilitators of the process for pupils? and b) Are there gender differences?
  5. What are the obstacles and facilitators of the process for stakeholders?
  6. a) What outcomes are there of the process? b) How does the Toolkit work? and c) Does this make a difference in what children know, feel and do?
  7. What are the implications for teacher education and preparation?
  8. What are the implications for HIV/AIDS education in schools in their particular settings and can we make any recommendations for Sub-Saharan Africa?

Overview of the process

In each country we worked with two or three primary schools, and thus a total of 15 schools across six countries. The main thrust of the process was:

  1. the participating teacher in each school established a Curriculum Development Group to consult, negotiate with and be supported by;
  2. that they used the toolkit to consult pupils;
  3. that with the support of an HIV/AIDS consultant and the stakeholders, the teacher worked to develop his or her HIV/AIDS education curriculum, reflecting and refining along the way.

The research team, spread across the six countries, conducted research about the process according to common research methods that enabled us to make within and across country judgements.