The Schools

Our research in South Africa involves five basic primary schools in Gauteng Province and five in Limpopo Province. We are also undertaking research in three special needs schools (one in Gauteng and two in Limpopo Provinces). Twelve grade four learners in each of the basic schools are participating in the trials and another group of twelve learners from each school will act as the control group. This research design enables us to compare the learning outcomes for children participating in the trials and those undertaking their regular classroom curriculum. The research is longitudinal over a three-year period to determine whether the impacts of the intervention are sustainable over a longer period of time. Children in the special needs schools will act as their own controls, since it is not possible to match children with such diverse needs with a control group.

Gauteng Province

Young South African children from one of the participating Gauteng Province schools exploring the 3D virtual learning environment

Gauteng Province comprises just 1.4% of South Africa's land area with 97% of its population living in urban centres. The schools in Gauteng Province in which we are undertaking our research are located across peri-urban and informal settlements including Lenasia, which is located south of Soweto.

Limpopo Province

Young South African boy standing outside one of the primary schools involved in our research study located in Limpopo Province
Limpopo is South Africa's most northern province with bordering countries including Botswana to the west, Zimbabwe to the north and Mozambique to the east. The capital of Limpopo Province is Polokwane, which is situated in the middle of the province We are undertaking our research in schools located in Polokwane and in rural areas including Tzaneen and Letaba.

Special Needs Schools

South African children from one of the special schools participating in our research study

We are also undertaking research in three special needs schools; one in Polokwane, one in Letaba (Limpopo Province) and one in Lenasia (Gauteng Province). Two of the special schools are for children with intellectual disabilities, and one provides services for children with physical disabilities and sensory impairments.

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