Teachers’ experiences of parents' involvement in Foundation Phase learning during COVID-19

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v40.i2.3

Keywords:

Foundation Phase teaching, Transfer of learning, Pandemic, Impact, Lockdown, Parental involvement, COVID-19

Abstract

This interpretive study documents experiences of teachers regarding the impact of parental participation on the learning process of Foundation Phase learners during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The period investigated stretched from the “hard” lockdown in South Africa instituted on 26 March 2020, until the reopening of the physical classroom for Foundation Phase learners on 24 August 2020. A qualitative approach was taken to generate data from participants who taught Grade 1 classes during 2020, using a self-constructed questionnaire with openand closed-ended items. The study population was localised to the Mangaung municipal area in the Free State, South Africa. The theoretical framework of socio-constructivism informed the inquiry. The key elements in this learning theory are the learners, curriculum, teachers and society. During the mentioned period, learners were deprived of the two key inputs of teachers and society, leading to an intensified dependency on parental involvement as a source of guidance. The questionnaire afforded teacher respondents the opportunity to voice their concerns, frustrations, successes and recommendations for future management of similar situations. Coding of the responses identified the theme of communication to emerge. Further thematic analysis refined the findings to indicate that teachers deemed parental involvement essential in i) providing technological support for their children; and ii) interpreting the tasks set for their Grade 1 learners. Barriers to effective communication as perceived by teachers were i) the language barrier where parents were unable to speak the language of learning and teaching of the school; ii) the digital divide posed by parents without effective digital support; and iii) the schooling level of parents who could not interpret the assignments for their children. The recommendation is that going forward, i) parents should have access to and embrace technological advances to support their children’s learning; ii) themselves practice a learning culture at home, and iii) model positive values to their children by active involvement in their learning.

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Published

2022-06-08

How to Cite

Grobler, A. (2022). Teachers’ experiences of parents’ involvement in Foundation Phase learning during COVID-19. Perspectives in Education, 40(2), 17-31. https://doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v40.i2.3

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Section

Research articles