Teachers' attitudes and opinions concerning elementary school students' understanding of HIV/AIDS
Paularinne, Sarah Marion L.
Master of Education
AIDS/HIV (Disease) Attitudes Study and teaching (Elementary)
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The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers’ views on HIV/AIDS education and their students’ readiness for HIV/AIDS education. How the emotional developmental stages of the students relate to the implementation of HIV/AIDS education programs in elementary schools was also investigated. Forty-three public elementary teachers of Grades 5 to 8 from one school board participated in a 46-six item questionnaire. It was found that all the teachers, especially the younger ones, are overwhelmingly willing to teach their students about various topics related to HIV/AIDS education. The participants also clearly did not believe that they are the most qualified professionals to provide this education or that they have sufficient, suitable resources available to them. The respondents believed that public health nurses, along with specially trained teachers are the best providers of HIV/AIDS education. The teachers of Grades 7 and 8 students were more likely to have taught about HIV/AIDS over the past school year. On average, the teachers believed that HIV/AIDS education should begin in Grade 6; this finding is similar to the beliefs outlined in Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. Analyses also revealed a low level of teachers’ accuracy regarding what their students understand about HIV/AIDS.