A qualitative case study: Classroom observation study Grade 3

Published: 14 March 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/6963h9zf6n.1
Martha Khosa


This document reports on teachers and parents’ uptake of resources in an intervention, which was implemented in the first half of 2021. The intervention occurred in the form of providing isiZulu home language (HL) reading anthologies (RAs) in Foundation Phase to a randomised sample of 100 Quintile 1 – 3 schools, teacher guidelines, and two laminated colour posters for a sub-sample of 50 schools in the King Cetshwayo District in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Teacher guidelines were intended to help teachers use the anthologies effectively in their classrooms and the colour posters to help parents communicate various activities with their children to encourage them to read. This study was undertaken in the fourth Term (26 October to 05 November 2021) to examine whether the provision of reading resources in the sampled schools impacted reading practices in the Foundation Phase (FP) classroom and at home. It was also meant to explore how the sustainable use of reading anthologies could be supported in the classroom and at home. A qualitative case study design was used to gather data in six quintile 1 and 2 schools. Hence, Grade 3 reading lessons (with the RAs used as the main resource during Group Guided Reading activities) were observed, Grade 1 and 3 teachers were interviewed and four to six parents of FP learners’ focus group discussions were undertaken in each of the six schools sampled. Half of the parents in the six schools selected had received the RAs together with colourful posters, while the parents at the other three schools received the anthologies only.


Steps to reproduce

The study was conducted in six quintile 1 and 2 schools (4 Primary and 2 Combined Schools) selected from a randomised sample of 100 quintile 1-3 schools in the King Cetshwayo District of KZN. A qualitative case study design was used to observe one Grade 3 isiZulu HL lesson in each of the six schools. The Grade 3 class in each school was selected randomly and automatically included teachers of the targeted classes. In addition, two interviews involving one Grade 1 teacher and one Grade 3 teacher who volunteered to participate in the study were conducted from each of the six schools. Four focus group discussions with a maximum of six parents of the FP learners were also conducted per school. Notes were taken throughout the research gathering process to supplement data captured through video and audio recordings during observations, interviews and focus group discussions.


University of the Free State


Early Childhood