Original Articles

Teachers' Use of Memory-Box-Making to Provide Psychosocial Support in Their Pastoral Role

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 18, issue 3, 2008 , pages: 465–475
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2008.10820223
Author(s): Liesel EbersöhnUniversity of Pretoria,, Ronél FerreiraUniversity of Pretoria,, Maria MnguniUniversity of Pretoria,


This study investigated the use of memory-box-making by teachers in their pastoral role. Ten female teachers participated in the study. The site of the study is in a South African primary school in an urban informal settlement. We used multiple data collection strategies (observation, focus groups, visual data and research diaries), which were documented in various ways (field notes, audio recordings and verbatim transcriptions and photographs). Data were analysed by means of thematic analysis from a constructivist grounded theory approach. The study found that (1) teachers were aware of pastoral role policy, but their task functioning in the role varied; (2) memory-box-making provided a pastoral space for teachers to apply basic counselling skills with children; (3) memory-box-making enabled teachers to perform pastoral role tasks; and (4) teachers ventured to transfer memory-box-making skills collaboratively. The study highlights the importance of considering cultural beliefs regarding death when utilising memory-box-making.

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