A Module That Learners can OWN
The Pedagogy of Action’s HIV module is a 15-minute presentation that is given completely orally, making it accessible to people who cannot read or write. The program thoroughly explains the complex scientific processes of our bodies in a way that is straightforward and makes sense. It covers details of the immune system, transmission of HIV, implications of HIV/AIDS, prevention, and reduction of stigma. Unlike many slogan campaigns, the module discusses why specific prevention strategies work, rather than simply saying to use them. Because this is often the first time people realize that they are capable of owning such complex knowledge, it can be very empowering. Additionally, learners are given the tools to make their own decisions about keeping themselves healthy and are more informed about transmission myths, which reduces stigma toward HIV-positive people. Through this empowerment and reduction of stigma, we hope to encourage people to remain faithful to themselves, to the community, and to the alleviation of the epidemic.
Kelsey Kennedy 2009-2010
“POA has achieved so much more than spread education on HIV and AIDS; it has challenged its learners to look past the conventional and limiting western approaches they are accustomed to. It has challenged its teachers to build trust with the people for whom the module is intended. The methodology was structured in a way that strategically excludes certain educational practices so as to create a space for learners to conceptualize, own, and distribute the information in a way that helps their community thrive. My involvement in POA has not only inspired my career path; it has made me aware of my American privilege in order to help me unlearn the systematic conventions of western education. POA is empowerment – trust – inclusion – community – anti-systematic – radical – conscientization – education – revolutionary.”
-Amanda Chahine (2015)
For a walkthrough of the module please watch this video of POA 2015 students teaching the module at our Durban Symposium. We hope to upload videos of learners taking ownership and teaching the module back to their peers in the near future.
This is a very important part of the module and it really lays the base of what separates the module from many other attempts at grassroots HIV education. It treats the learner as a whole and intelligent person who can grasp the way their bodies work and then the way that HIV affects them.