5.2. Preparing to Consult Pupils
1 Reflection on pupils' lives and contexts activity.
Before you use this Toolkit or commence any activities with your pupils, you need to think carefully about your school setting and the pupils in your care. Consider these questions and talk with your colleagues and your head teacher to gain an understanding of where you work and what goes on there. This exercise will help you understand better your pupils' context and thus you will more likely teach and help your pupils from a point of knowledge.
- Poverty levels: Do children come to school hungry, do they travel far distances to get to school?
- Attendance: Do children come to school regularly; for the whole day or part?
- What is the atmosphere in the classroom like?
- What methods of teaching and learning are used?
- What is play time like?
- What is the relationship between pupils and teachers like?
- How does the situation above affect children's learning?
- What are the prevailing views on HIV/AIDS and sexuality in the community?
- How do people in the community spend their time?
- Is there ubuntu, ujamaa, collectivism, neighbourliness?
- Is there sex education in the community?
- What are the recreational practices of the children?
- What are the streets like during the day; at night?
- How would you describe young people's lives in your community?
2 Guidelines for Consultation
Once you have understood the pupils' contexts, you can now explore how to make use of the activities in this toolkit for effective participatory teaching in your HIV/AIDS education lessons. Below are a few basic rules that we suggest you and your pupils follow. Before sharing these rules with your pupils, spend some time letting the pupils suggest some rules. Let them generate as many of these tips as they can. Write these down on the blackboard, manila or flip chart. When they have exhausted their ideas, share with them guidelines from the list below. No need repeating those already mentioned by the pupils.
- Explain to your pupils that they will all be involved in the consultation.
- Explain to them that 'many heads' are better than one. In other words - one finger cannot kill a louse any more than one stone can hold a cooking pot. That's the basic idea behind consultation - all of are smarter than one of us alone.
- Remind them that every idea should be respected - no laughing at other's ideas and be respectful when presenting your idea so you don't offend others.
- Remind your pupils that they must be courteous if they want to become respected members in the consultation.
- Remember, not everyone feels immediately comfortable working with others - trust comes from experience - it is earned not expected.
- Remind pupils that what is said in the class, stays in the class. Then, if the class agrees, their statements could be shared in the larger community - no individual names get used.
- All contributions to the class discussion should be consultative.
- Every member of the class must make an active contribution to the discussion. No one should get a 'free ride'.
- Whenever possible, class members should find evidence to add to the discussion. Facts rather than rumours strengthen the contributions.
- Make sure the class understands how much time there is available for the activity.
- Make sure the class knows what you hope the outcome will be and why their involvement in the consultative process is important.
For more advice about how to work ethically with pupils please see (info)Use the player below to listen to this section: