A study to compare HIV /AIDS curriculum implementation K–12 in selected Middle Tennessee Schools and Kisumu District Schools, Kenya

Eucabeth Akoth Odhiambo, Tennessee State University


HIV/AIDS is now considered an epidemic, and nearly everyone worldwide is concerned about this disease. It is especially a major health concern in sub-Saharan Africa. Initial data indicate that comprehensive (or even sustained) HIV/AIDS education is lacking in most African schools. However, school systems are found everywhere, and these instruction centers provide a practical means for disseminating accurate and timely information on HIV/AIDS. Thus, it is imperative that resource-poor nations begin to utilize academic curricula and systematically incorporate HIV/AIDS education at all levels. But a prerequisite to such an implementation is a comprehensive review of the existing curricula. On the other hand, developed countries have the privilege of well-organized educational systems and preventive drugs to reasonably combat this disease. The purpose of this study was to examine implementation of curricula by comparing two systems, Middle Tennessee Schools and Kisumu District Schools in Kenya. Each HIV/AIDS curriculum was examined for similarities and differences. In terms of implementation (a) the preparation needs of classroom teachers were assessed to find what the needs were; (b) the perspectives of the teachers who teach HIV/AID between Kenyan and American schools were assessed to find out different view points and/or what would be useful to inform this study; (c) teacher comfort level teaching HIV/AIDS was examined to determine what factors affected comfort level; (d) the problems experienced by teachers were also examined to see if they affect the comfort level of teaching and thus interfered with curriculum implementation; and (e) teacher preparation was analyzed to see if it interfered with curriculum implementation and comfort level. Correlation coefficients were used to determine relationships between various variables, and t-tests were used to determine differences between variables. Qualitative data in the form of written responses and interviews were summarized for major themes on implementation and perceptions. All teachers who were teaching or were expected to teach HIV/AIDS curriculum K–12 participated. About 70 teachers K–12 were surveyed in selected Middle Tennessee School Systems and another 78 in Kisumu Municipality Schools. Of those surveyed, 15 teachers were interviewed—9 in Kisumu and 6 in a Middle Tennessee study site. Thus a total of 148 teachers made the sample for this study. The teachers' names and schools received a code for confidentiality after the data was gathered. The results in this study indicated that both curricula were similar in terms of topics; they both lacked important topics to make them at par with suggested standards from the Center of Disease Control and the United Nations AIDS Control. HIV/AIDS in Middle Tennessee was not given as much emphasis as in Kisumu District. Both sites were not adequately prepared to teach HIV/AIDS in terms of staff development. Teachers in Middle Tennessee cited preparation as important to their comfort in teaching HIV/AIDS, while teachers in Kisumu indicated that they were comfortable teaching regardless of their preparation level. Both settings cited similar obstacles to implementation and also the need for medical personnel to provide training.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Health education

Recommended Citation

Eucabeth Akoth Odhiambo, "A study to compare HIV /AIDS curriculum implementation K–12 in selected Middle Tennessee Schools and Kisumu District Schools, Kenya" (2003). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3094631.