Learning as transformation: Women's HIV & AIDS education in Malindi, Kenya

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Spaling, Melisa
Transformative Learning Theory , Adult Learning , Women's Education , HIV & AIDS Education , Kenya , Africa
Understanding why, when, and with whom women engage in opportunities for HIV & AIDS education is critical in exploring the extent to which popular education strategies promote transformational learning among women in Malindi, Kenya. Three central questions animate this research: a) What do rural women who participate in HIV & AIDS popular education programs learn about HIV & AIDS, b) through what range of pedagogical practices and theories does their learning occur, and c) how does this learning contribute to transformative changes that improve women's health, at both individual (e.g., beliefs, behaviour) and communal levels (e.g., group actions)? Employing a qualitative research design, face-to-face interviews, and document analysis of secondary sources enabled a rich and in-depth exploration of specific learnings and actions among Kenyan women. Qualitative analysis of eight semi-structured interviews reveals three dimensions of transformative learning among adult women in Malindi, including a) striving towards openness, b) culture of support, and c) connected knowing. These inter-related themes outline the potential for Kenyan women's HIV & AIDS education to move beyond instrumental, and communicative, to more empowering transformative learning.
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