Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Can schools support HIV/AIDS-affected children? Exploring the ‘ethic of care’ amongst rural Zimbabwean teachers

Campbell, Catherine and Andersen, Louise and Madanhire, Claudius and Mutiskiwa, Alice and Nyamukapa, Constance and Gregson, Simon (2016) Can schools support HIV/AIDS-affected children? Exploring the ‘ethic of care’ amongst rural Zimbabwean teachers. PLoS ONE, 11 (1). e0146322. ISSN 1932-6203

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146322

Abstract

How realistic is the international policy emphasis on schools ‘substituting for families’ of HIV/AIDS-affected children? We explore the ethic of care in Zimbabwean schools to highlight the poor fit between the western caring schools literature and daily realities of schools in different material and cultural contexts. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with 44 teachers and 55 community members, analysed in light of a companion study of HIV/AIDS-affected pupils’ own accounts of their care-related experiences. We conceptualise schools as spaces of engagement between groups with diverse needs and interests (teachers, pupils and surrounding community members), with attention to the pathways through which extreme adversity impacts on those institutional contexts and social identifications central to giving and receiving care. Whilst teachers were aware of how they might support children, they seldom put these ideas into action. Multiple factors undermined caring teacher-pupil relationships in wider contexts of poverty and political uncertainty: loss of morale from low salaries and falling professional status; the inability of teachers to solve HIV/AIDS-related problems in their own lives; the role of stigma in deterring HIV/AIDS-affected children from disclosing their situations to teachers; authoritarian teacher-learner relations and harsh punishments fuelling pupil fear of teachers; and lack of trust in the wider community. These factors undermined: teacher confidence in their skills and capacity to support affected pupils and motivation to help children with complex problems; solidarity and common purpose amongst teachers, and between teachers and affected children; and effective bridging alliances between schools and their surrounding communities–all hallmarks of HIV-competent communities. We caution against ambitious policy expansions of teachers' roles without recognition of the personal and social costs of emotional labour, and the need for significant increases in resources and institutional recognition to enable teachers to adopt support roles. We highlight the need for research into how best to create opportunities for teacher recognition in deprived and disorganised institutional settings, and the development of more culturally appropriate notions of caring

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors © CC BY 4.0
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Social Psychology
Departments > Psychological and Behavioural Science
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2016 16:53
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2017 09:52
Projects: RES-167-25-0672, 084401/Z/07/Z
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Department for International Development, Wellcome Trust
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/64870

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics