Scaffolding the Decision-making Concept through Scenarios in isiZulu Folk Narratives for Life-Skills Education



This article discusses the decision-making concept as simplified through scenarios in three isiZulu folk narratives. The three folk narratives are part of the qualitative data that were generated from 63 student participants who studied isiZulu folklore education at a South African University. During the data gathering process, each participant told one folk narrative of their choice that was narrated to them earlier in their lives, they stated who the narrator was, the rationale for narrating the story, knowledge, and skill(s) learned from the story and they stated how the story influenced their lives. The findings revealed that isiZulu folk narratives are used to simplify life skills concepts such as decision-making, which might be difficult for young people to understand and implement. Using the Naturalistic Decision-making (NDM) theory that is entwined with the Recognition-Primed Decision (RPD) model, I argue that the folk narratives provide young people with knowledge about possible life situations and this sensitises them to their immediate environment, and sharpens their decision-making and survival skills. The decision-making concept is also part of the life skills education in the school curriculum of the South African schools. Therefore, this article presents a case for the appropriateness of an African folklore approach to be used in schools to scaffold difficult concepts in the pedagogy of life skills-based curriculum.