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Towards theorising integration

Rau, A. 2009. Towards theorising the integration of HIV/AIDS content and issues into higher education curricula. Paper presented at the ‘HEAIDS-University of Fort Hare (UFH) Symposium’, 15-16 May 2009, East London: University of Fort Hare.


The sheer scale of Africa’s HIV/AIDS pandemic, the threats it poses and the sense of urgency it evokes must account in part for why - even in higher education institutions - the implementation of curricular interventions precedes and is privileged over a theoretical exploration of integration/ infusion itself.

A critical review of literature on curricular responses to HIV/AIDS in Africa clearly demonstrates this tendency to implement interventions before theorizing them. There is some evidence of substantive educational theories such as the ‘reflexive practitioner’ and ‘student centred learning’ being applied to specific interventions at the course or micro level. But no meta-theoretical frameworks appear to be in place to interrogate, underpin and inform curricular responses across macro (institutional), mezzo (faculty-departmental), and micro (course) levels. This is one of the gaps that the curriculum research component of the Rhodes-HEAIDS project set out to address. Key questions are: which are likely sites for infusing HIV/AIDS content and issues into teaching and learning, which are not, and why?

The research began with a comprehensive mapping of where and how HIV/AIDS is addressed in all Rhodes’ 41 academic departments. Data collected in individual meetings with 229 academic teachers - 78.2% of the university’s teaching staff in 2008 - allowed for a nuanced understanding of opportunities and constraints attending curricular integration/ infusion.


Last Modified: Fri, 18 May 2018 16:27:04 SAST