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Performative Praxis

Teacher Identity and Teaching in the Context of HIV/AIDS

Mary Jean Baxen

It is widely recognized that the South African government’s exemplary HIV/AIDS education policy is not making the behaviour-changing impact that it ought. Why is this? What is actually happening in the school classroom?
In this book, Jean Baxen makes an important contribution towards understanding the complex interface between the HIV/AIDS education curriculum and what and how teachers are teaching in the classroom. Bringing Judith Butler’s theory of performativity to bear in an analysis of the pedagogic practice of a number of teachers in the Western Cape and Mpumalanga, the author shows how teachers’ personal conception of their role and identity as educators plays a vitally important role in filtering and shaping the classroom transmission of key information and attitudes.

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Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Part I Context and contours of the research Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 1 The study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Part II A theoretical framework for understanding teachers and their work: towards a ‘performative’ subject Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 2 Dominant sociological debates in understanding social action . . 51 3 Subject formation and Bourdieu’s theory of practice . . . . . . . . 55 4 Subjectivity and Giddens’s theory of structuration . . . . . . . . . . 69 5 Subject positioning and Butler’s theory of performativity . . . . . 79 Part III Limitations in dominant epistemological orientations and research on teachers, teaching and HIV/AIDS Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 6 The limitations of dominant epistemological orientations and interpretations of teachers and teachers’ work . . . . . . . . . . 93 10 7 The limitations of dominant epistemological orientations and discourses in influencing the understandings of, responses to, and interpretations of HIV/AIDS . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 8 Limitations of dominant discourses and epistemological and methodological orientations in researching HIV/AIDS . . . 131 Part IV Dominant factors shaping teachers’ lives Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 9 Social and material conditions shaping teachers’ lives . . . . . . 153 10 Dominant factors shaping teachers’ subjective experiences . . 191 11 Subject positioning and teaching: understanding the performative teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269 Part V Unintended consequences of ‘performing’ teaching Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 301 12 Teacher performativity and classroom discourse . . . . . . . . . . 303 Appendices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313 List of References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331 11 List of Tables Table 1: Western Cape: Teacher and School Profile . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Table 2: Mpumalanga: Teacher and School Profile . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Table 3: Community, Region, Economic and Social Cluster and Selected Number of Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 Table 4: Geographic Population Groups: Western Cape . . . . . . . . 167 Table 5: Geographic Population Groups: Mpumalanga . . . . . . . . 168 Table 6: Language Profile of...

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