Original Research

Group work during visual art activities to reduce indecisiveness

Nkhensani S. Thuketana, Liesel Westhof
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 8, No 1 | a447 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v8i1.447 | © 2018 Nkhensani S. Thuketana; Liesel Westhof | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 May 2016 | Published: 20 November 2018

About the author(s)

Nkhensani S. Thuketana, Early Childhood Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Liesel Westhof, Early Childhood Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Background: The Foundation Phase in education provides the primary building blocks for children’s foundation and development. From personal experiences as educators, we observed that young learners who work together in small groups during art activities gain self-confidence faster than indecisive learners who work alone. Indecisive learners become hesitant and lack confidence when they are allowed own choices during art activities. In line with Vygotsky’s social constructivism, this article assumed that social interaction fosters learning and development in learners.

Aim: The aim of this study was to observe whether group work promotes decisive behaviour and self-confidence in learners.

Setting: A group of five Grade R learners in a privately owned pre-primary school in Pretoria was targeted for the purpose of this investigation.

Methods: This article followed a qualitative approach in the form of a multiple case study that focused on four young learners who showed indecisive behaviour and one learner who showed decisive behaviour during a visual art activity. Learners’ conversations and participation were observed and recorded as they used photographs and artefacts in the group art activity.

Results: Over time, the four indecisive learners had improved and gained confidence towards decisiveness. These results support Vygotsky’s theory that skilled learners can scaffold the unskilled ones to reach their full potential.

Conclusion: The results in this article point to the importance of collaborative learning in classrooms to improve confidence and decision-making. It is, therefore, recommended that teachers use a group work strategy to improve learning and decisiveness in classrooms.


indecisiveness; self-confidence; group work; foundation phase; visual art


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