A survey of the specific life orientation needs of grade 9 learners
Adolescence can be described as a period of heightened vulnerability. The transition between childhood and adulthood encompasses challenges associated with the changes experienced in the various domains of development. Risk and opportunity are associated with adolescence and education with regard to dealing with these aspects of adolescent developmental change is critical. Life Skills Education promotes the acquisition of appropriate non-academic skills and behaviour that will empower the adolescent to lead a meaningful life. Life Orientation is South Africa's interpretation of Life Skills Education. This learning area is one of eight within the structure of Curriculum 2005. This study focuses on this specific learning area. The aim of this study was to determine the specific Life Orientation needs of Grade 9 learners and to assess whether the current Life Orientation curriculum meets these needs. The study also set out to establish whether the Life Orientation needs differed according to race and gender. The research consists of a literature and an empirical study. Primary and secondary literature resources, as well as, the Internet, were studied in order to achieve the aims of the study. Information studied was used to design a measuring instrument in the form of a survey. This measuring instrument is statistically valid and reliable. The empirical study was primarily descriptive and quantitative. The sample population comprised of Grade 9 learners from two mainstream English-medium schools in the Vaal Triangle. The findings of this study show that the Life Orientation needs of Grade 9 learners in this sample are largely met by the current curriculum, although a number of deficiencies do exist and recommendations with regard to the relevance of the curriculum have been made. No significant differences between gender and racial groups were found. Furthermore, the Life Orientation needs are practical and future-orientated. These needs reflect the skills required to cope with the socio-economic reality of modern day life in South Africa.
- ETD@Vaal Triangle Campus