Document Type Doctoral Thesis Author Pienaar, Pieter Abraham email@example.com URN etd-10172008-145446 Document Title Exploring the impact of narrative arts activities on the self-concept of Grade 9 learners in group context Degree PhD Department Educational Psychology Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Prof J G Maree Supervisor Keywords
- narrative counselling
- narrative arts activities
- narrative arts learnubg programme
- video as integrating medium
- life orientation
- arts activities
- arts-based research
- grade nine learners
- group context arts-based research
Date 2008-09-03 Availability unrestricted Abstract
This study reveals the impact of an exemplar narrative arts learning programme on the self-concept of Grade 9 learners in the Life Orientation classroom. The episodic narrative arts learning programme was designed in response to a suggestion in the government guidelines for Life Orientation and merged the outcomes for Arts and Culture and Life Orientation. The aims of narrative counselling were employed to allow the learners to tell their stories to themselves and others. The arts component, based on the arts therapies, allowed the learners an opportunity to give visual substance to their individual and collective narratives through arts activities that occurred within a small group. Brief video recordings were made of each group’s interactions during the narrative arts episodes in order to compile an edited video overview of the process that could be screened for the learners on completion of the programme. The aims of positive psychology were embedded in the structure and design of the arts episodes and activities.
This is an interpretive study with a phenomenological focus, because the lived experiences of the participants and the teacher-researcher are paramount and the narrative element in the study necessitates the inclusion of the postmodern paradigm. This qualitative arts-based research project is based on a two-month Life Orientation learning programme that occurred during school hours on the grounds of a faith-based school. Forty-seven learners were divided into six small groups of approximately eight learners each in which they remained for the duration of the programme and were assigned to a specific teacher-facilitator. Fourteen learners volunteered to participate in four rounds of interviews, which were conducted with each participant to determine the impact of the narrative arts activities on the self-concept over the course of the programme. The transcribed interview responses were interpreted and classified according to five predetermined self-concept domains established by an examination of literature.
Data analysis occurred in four cycles which align with the four rounds of interviews. Two data analysis approaches were employed and the data triangulated: a scientifically-accountable and a more intuitive approach. Findings based on the interpreted interview responses of these 14 participants indicate that the exemplar narrative arts programme primarily impacted on two self-concept domains, namely the social and personal-emotional domains. The participants’ self-descriptors revealed that the small group arts activity context allowed them to become gradually more other focused and stimulated varied measures of self-insight and self-growth.
Once the limitations are recognised, the study could contribute to the inclusion of more arts-based assignments in Life Orientation programmes to aid the development of self-concept, the inclusion of this particular exemplar approach in more educational settings, openness to “team teaching” in the high school and more innovative applications of video recording within an educational or research setting. The exemplar narrative arts approach is a means for strengthening psychological support services in the school, because it reinforces the formulation of identity by allowing learners an opportunity to become actively busy writing and living their life stories
© University of Pretoria 2008D489/gm
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