EXPLORING THE STUDENT AND SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE LIFE SCIENCES CURRICULUM: A CASE OF HIV/AIDS
Problems of Education in the 21st Century
Science is generally expected to respond to students and societal needs by adopting student and social accountability principles. Therefore, school science curricula are revised regularly to address emerging socio-economic, political, and scientific issues. Similarly, the National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement of South Africa was introduced to foster a student and social accountable education that adopts relevant curriculum ideologies. Partly, it attempts to equip students with
... p students with relevant skills and knowledge related to emerging societal challenges such as HIV/AIDS. The aim of the present research, therefore, was to determine the extent to which the curriculum is student and social accountable concerning HIV/AIDS. The current research explored the extent to which HIV/AIDS knowledge was presented in the CAPS Life Sciences curriculum and selected textbooks, and how curriculum ideologies informed this presentation of HIV/AIDS knowledge. Data were collected from the Life Sciences CAPS document and selected textbooks. Results revealed several HIV/AIDS-related topics, which were taught in Life Sciences. While the literature suggests that the citizenship-centered ideology is most relevant for student and social accountability, the present study found that the Life Sciences curriculum adopted a predominantly discipline-centered ideology. It is concluded that Life Sciences may not provide students with HIV/AIDS-related skills and knowledge required in a student and socially accountable curriculum. Keywords: curriculum ideologies, HIV/AIDS education, life sciences, school science curriculum.