Answer to Question #232050 in Philosophy for Bongi

Question #232050
  1. Describe your understanding of different worldviews in the communication of the issue of HIV/AIDS
Expert's answer

How HIV and AIDS are linked to worldviews is first discussed , the importance of this link will be indicated by using the idea of Brown and Beck (they analysed the effectiveness of certain HIV prevention posters to communicate to people with different worldviews) in order to create a pedagogical space to enhance the critical diversity literacy (Steyn 2014) of students. The second part of the article will critically examine how the link between HIV prevention posters and worldviews can be used as a vehicle to broaden students’ thinking about their own worldviews and to encourage the adoption of a more inclusive worldview. This will be done through a critical reflection on an ‘Understanding the social and cultural world’ module (Verhoef 2014) developed and taught by the author. The last part of the article will discuss and evaluate the implication of students adopting a more inclusive worldview, leading to greater awareness of diversity and the intersectionality of HIV and AIDS with other social issues. I will argue that transformation of student thinking is enhanced by increasing their understanding of and attitude towards HIV and AIDS in society. The method followed in this article is one of critical reflection on not only the relevant literature in this field of study, but also on my experience as lecturer and developer of this compulsory ‘Understanding the social and cultural world’ (UTW) module which addresses HIV and AIDS and their relation to worldviews and other social issues. The content of this module is controlled to a large extent by a Senate Committee which advocates the inclusion of three philosophical paradigms – the Western, Christian and African worldviews. While this prescription of content is debatable, this article explains how I attempt to shift student thinking within these prescribed boundaries. This is not an empirical study, but rather a critical analysis of my engagement with students and their oral and written responses in class and assignments. This critical reflection gave me insight into the challenges of integrating HIV into the curriculum. This link between HIV and AIDS and worldviews can help to create a curriculum that challenges and disrupts student thinking, moving them from an exclusive and narrowminded worldview which is judgmental or apathetic towards HIV, to one that is more open to diversity and is based on a deeper understanding of the intersectionality of various social issues in the South African context.

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