oa Journal of Education - Teachers gendered identities, pedagogy and HIV/AIDS education in African settings within the ESAR

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-479X



This article uses data selected from two studies in countries of the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR), namely, Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, to explore how teachers used gender to construct their identities and those of their students. It demonstrates the role of perceived models of African masculinities and femininities in the lives of teachers and how these were contrived to sexualise girls and construct them, not only as inferior to boys but also, as objects of sexual ridicule. We see how female and male students negotiated gendered and sexual identities in the school and in HIV/AIDS classes in ways that often threatened teacher image and confidence, often undermining classroom participation. The article analyses the gendered dynamics of school and classroom life, highlighting educational implications, identifying gaps for further research and suggesting strategies that could help transform HIV/AIDS education classes, making them relatively more empowering for teachers and students.

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