Original Research

Voices from different cultures: Foundation Phase students’ understanding across

Annalie Botha
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 1, No 2 | a86 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v1i2.86 | © 2011 Annalie Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 May 2014 | Published: 31 December 2011

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Annalie Botha, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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From “How was your day?” to “Remember the time we …”, we use stories as a way to share our experiences, understandings and concerns with others. Stories extend our knowledge and understanding of other people and situations, other cultures
and languages by including the emotional expressions of factual information. When so much of family and community life in South Africa remains insular and disconnected from other cultures, other languages and other belief systems, stories
can extend boundaries beyond our single perspectives and experiences to the varying perspectives of others. This becomes particularly important for teachers of young children who may have very different life experiences from those of the children they teach. In this project, we examined storytelling as a way to cross-cultural boundaries and of harnessing the diverse worlds of South African citizens pedagogically. We asked fourth year students in a Foundation Phase teacher education programme to identify a person from a different cultural and linguistic group; and to have that person share a story with them to discover how the experience of listening to stories from different cultures, languages, and belief systems might influence their attitudes towards teaching children with those characteristic differences.


emotional expressions, single perspectives, storytelling, cross-cultural


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