Wiese, Eline Fatima (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis discusses teaching sensitive issues in a framework of education for democracy and social change. Specifically, the research examined how teacher-education students in South African teacher-education institutions in the Western Cape province are taught about HIV/AIDS and sensitive issues and how they describe their experiences. The thesis discusses how social change, i.e. the transition from a traditional and modernist society to a society with postmodern features, affects schooling as it changes the social structures in which schooling take place, and furthermore how sensitive and controversial issues come to the surface and demand to be dealt with as society changes. This has implications for the educational framework chosen – i.e. going from an authoritarian form of education to education for democracy based on democratic teaching methods, student participation and diversity. This thesis is built of the assumption that only teachers who are properly prepared to handle teaching in a diverse classroom will be able to handle teaching sensitive and controversial issues. There were two main findings of the research. Firstly, the need for teacher professionalism, defined as teachers’ didactic and reflective competence in teaching sensitive issues. Secondly that there is a need for participatory democratic education in dealing with sensitive and controversial issues.
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