Use of Constructivist Approaches in the Teaching of Christian Religious Education - HIV and AIDS Education Integrated Content in Secondary Schools in Kampala-Uganda
Maani, John Samson
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The purpose of this study was to establish whether the constructivist approaches were being used to teach CRE content related to sexuality, HIV and AIDS. The study involved 17 secondary schools, purposively sampled from the five Divisions of Kampala District. The study involved 67 teachers and 668 senior four CRE students. Twelve chaplains and twenty officials from NGOs and Government Agencies and Departments participated in the study. Their contribution to CRE teachers‟ efforts to help school adolescents to stay safe from HIV and AIDS was regarded as an emerging issue. Questionnaires, FGDs, interviews and lesson observations were used to collect relevant data. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (r) was used to establish how often CRE teachers used the constructivist approaches and the attitudes teachers and students had towards constructivist approaches. Descriptive analysis was used for qualitative data. Findings indicated that teachers rarely used constructivist methods although their attitudes towards such approaches were positive. The teachers‟ positive attitudes were not translated into action because they believed that it was mainly teacher-centred methods that could help students pass national examinations very well. Students‟ attitudes towards the constructivist approaches were very positive. Students had no chance of translating their positive attitudes into action because they depended on methods selected by their teachers. It was, therefore, concluded that the potential for CRE to help students stay safe from HIV and AIDS was not being fully tapped. Other findings indicated that chaplains only emphasized abstinence as a method of staying safe from HIV and AIDS. Many churches had designed programmes that help adolescents use leisure time constructively. On the contrary, some NGOs were more liberal on the accessibility to condoms by secondary school students. NGOs were also playing big roles in adolescent-related programmes. It was recommended that, in addition to teachers‟ comprehensive HIV and AIDS related workshops, customized teachers‟ and students‟ HIV and AIDS manuals and textbooks be written. UNEB needs to come up with techniques of assessment that expect learners to demonstrate analytical skills. Chaplaincies and Guidance and Counseling Services need to be established and strengthened in schools. Through workshops, parents need empowerment on how to handle adolescent children.