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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100


MSUTWANA, Nomawonga Veronica. Exploring age-old Xhosa values in the teaching of sexuality education. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2021, vol.41, n.3, pp.1-12. ISSN 2076-3433.

Research demonstrates that teachers' cultural perspectives influence how they teach sexuality education; however, it is not clear how this occurs. Therefore, in my study, I explored how Xhosa teachers' cultural perspectives influenced their practice of teaching sexuality education to adolescent Xhosa learners. I purposively selected 9 female Xhosa teachers and took them through the photovoice process, adopting a critical paradigm and drawing on a participatory visual methodology in achieving this aim. The findings reveal 2 themes: on the one hand, the participants used the past as a lens by drawing on some age-old cultural values and adhering to a didactic model of teaching, and on the other, they shifted towards a new practice by innovating their teaching method and refocusing on a safe lifestyle. The participants stated that the values of assertiveness and passivity were necessary for girls to navigate their adolescent sexuality successfully, even though the 2 values seemed contradictory. This presents a dichotomous dynamic, calling for the scrutiny of the Xhosa culture as it relates to sexuality. This work has implications for teacher professional development and training, as innovative and participatory methods are appropriate for use within sexuality education.

Keywords : adolescent learners; comprehensive sexuality education; Xhosa culture; Xhosa secondary school teachers.

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