The value of using folktales as an intervention tool to enhance resilience for children orphaned and rendered vulnerable by HIV and AIDS
Mayaba, Nokhanyo Nomakhwezi
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The recent increase in the number of children orphaned and rendered vulnerable by HIV and AIDS has placed an added burden on schools as sites of care and support. Yet, many teachers regard this pastoral role as an added responsibility that they are not competent to execute. To address this problem, we conducted a qualitative enquiry to explore the potential of folktales as a tool that could be used by primary school teachers to fulfill their pastoral role in a way that could be easily integrated into the academic curriculum. We used specific pedagogical strategies (drawings, collage, drama) as both intervention and data generation tools. We found that there was indeed an increase in resilient coping responses, that valuable information was generated about the lives and needs of the learners, helping teachers to better fulfill their function of care and support; and that the stories had potential for the fostering of important academic skills. The latter two themes testify to the wider value of using cultural stories in the classroom in an interactive way, allowing teachers to fulfill both academic and pastoral roles without feeling overburdened. These qualitative findings are not necessarily generalisable but may have significance for any teachers working in socio-economically challenged environments.
- Faculty of Education