Title page for ETD etd-09302008-113450

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Thomas, Mary
URN etd-09302008-113450
Document Title Tshwane street children’s experiences of learning life skills through the medium of sport
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Dr L H Human Supervisor
  • life skills
  • sport
  • experiential learning
  • street children
Date 2008-04-14
Availability restricted
South African street children are marginalised with limited access to appropriate resources for the purposes of learning and self development (Hatting, Poggenpoel & Myburgh, 1998). They are often vulnerable to abuse and neglect with restricted opportunities to overcome the adverse conditions they reside in (Ensign, 2006). This research study considers Tshwane street children’s experiences of learning life skills through the medium of sport. It followed a qualitative, narrative research inquiry, whereby six street children residing in a Tshwane-based shelter, were interviewed on their experience(s) of a sports programme run by the Masters Counselling Psychology students of Pretoria University in 2006. Findings of this study indicate that despite these children’s life circumstances, fuelled by the dominant societal narrative of irreparability and hopelessness, the message of experiencing happiness and hope is sent through their narratives. The alternative narrative of Fridays emerged. Fridays being the day we played sport with them. Further narratives of liking, helpfulness, change, learning, and niceness developed from the interviews, which they constructed through storylines of learning, respect, talking, and self improvement through play. Additionally, reference was made to the transference of these life skills to the context of the shelter. Limitations, applicability and the relevance of these findings are discussed.

© University of Pretoria 2008


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