Original Articles

How Children Experience the Assets that Support their Learning

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 19, issue 3, 2009 , pages: 355–363
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2009.10820302
Author(s): Irma EloffUniversity of Pretoria,, Ilze FerreiraUniversity of Pretoria,, Jacobus G. MareeUniversity of Pretoria,


The study, on which this article is based, explored the ways in which primary school children in an urban (city centre) setting experience the assets and resources that support their learning. The researchers used a qualitative phenomenological research design incorporating an interpretive and constructivist perspective. The study was conducted in a primary school in Tshwane, Gauteng province, South Africa. The participants were eight African female participants in Grades 5–7 who had overcome extrinsic barriers to learning. They participated in a focus group discussion during which the relevant and natural units of significant statements were listed (horizontalisation) and structured into central clusters of meanings. Textural themes (what) and structural themes (how) were identified. The study found that human resource assets were central to the process of connecting a variety of assets that supported learning. The study also found a significant compound effect of assets, for example increased connected assets had a noteworthy additional positive effect on learning support. The identified assets interrelatedly mobilised other assets (textural findings) on one of five levels (structural findings: physical assets, social assets, safety assets, esteem assets and self-actualisation) in various systems and contexts that contribute to learning support. This article elaborates on these findings.

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