Adolescents’ perceptions of an adventure-based programme

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    A qualitative study was undertaken to explore the perceptions of youth regarding their wilderness rites of passage experience and its value for their lives. The researchers operated in an interpretive/ constructivist paradigm and employed a qualitative research methodology. Participants were selected through purposive sampling, and individual interviews, documents, records, observations and reflections were used to collect data. Data were analysed by means of content analysis. We argue that participation in a wilderness rites of passage programme can contribute to the personal growth and development of youth at risk of experiencing or manifesting emotional or behavioural difficulties in schools. The research findings indicate that wilderness rites of passage programmes can contribute significantly towards school support for young people. The findings also highlight the fact that young people in the South African context are in need of caring school communities and adult mentorship. Young people are in need of support, discipline and guidance, as well as experiences of trust, love and care. School environments should change from being places of disappointment to being places of safety and growth. Such a culture of care could possibly curb the anger, resentment and distrust of the youth and support learners who are experiencing or mani festing emotional or behavioural difficulties in schools.