This study forms part of a broader research project that involves the investigation of the effect of a health promotion intervention (Win-LIFE) on a resource-constrained community's practices, needs and expectations related to food choice, preparation and production. As part of the Win-LIFE intervention, the South African Life Skills school curriculum was enriched, and the current study followed its implementation and focused on the experiences of 31 Grade 5 learners in a school in the Bronkhorstspruit area.
For the purpose of this study I followed a qualitative methodological approach, relied on interpretivism as meta-theory and implemented a case study research design, applying Participatory Reflection and Action (PRA) principles. Data were generated by means of PRA-based activities, supported by observations, and documented through field notes, audio-visual techniques and a reflective journal. Thematic inductive analysis was completed following data generation.
Four themes with related sub-themes emerged. The first theme relates to the positive experience of experiential learning. The second theme concerns the role of a supportive facilitator. The third theme entails the positive outcomes of the learning process. The last theme relates to the challenges experienced by the learners.
The findings of this study indicate a positive general experience of the enriched Life Skills curriculum by the Grade 5 learners, which led to benefits both proximally and distally in the various spheres in which the learners functioned. Learners demonstrated the ability to acquire knowledge and skills in a way they enjoyed, transferred these to their families, and their motivation to learn increased.