Engaging adolescents on teenage pregnancy prevention using process drama : a case study of grade 11 pupils at Supreme Educational College in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Ngum, Yvette
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Teenage pregnancy in South Africa, especially amongst teenage learners has become a national crisis with an estimated average of 5000 girls between the ages of 12 and 19 falling pregnant in one school year (Headlines Africa, 2012). This study focused on how process drama was applied with adolescent learners at Supreme Educational College in Johannesburg, to investigate the causes and consequences of teenage pregnancy. Process drama requires participants to create and assume roles, identify and explore images and stories drawn from fictional worlds that relate to the participants’ own personal experiences. Through process drama workshops, teenagers were able to engage with challenging situations as a way of acquiring new knowledge about teenage pregnancy. Three major themes emerged as contributing factors to teenage pregnancy, namely, parental negligence and abuse, negative peer pressure and poverty. The learner’s engagement within the dramatic process was enhanced by means of dialogue, negotiation and reflection with the teacher adopting the role of facilitator and co-participant. The fictional world created by the drama enabled the learners to relate and identify with problematic aspects of teenage pregnancy. The study concludes that process drama offers an aesthetic space for teenagers to develop a deeper understanding of themselves in relation to their lived experiences. The study recommends process drama as a powerful interactive medium that needs to be implemented in schools to grapple with intractable issues such as teenage pregnancy.