Original Research

Getting the boys involved: Using an interactive questionnaire to investigate Grade 6 boys’ writing

Nazarana Mather, Peter Rule
Reading & Writing | Vol 8, No 1 | a146 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v8i1.146 | © 2017 Nazarana Mather, Peter Rule | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 September 2016 | Published: 29 November 2017

About the author(s)

Nazarana Mather, Academic Support Department, Varsity College, South Africa
Peter Rule, Centre for Higher and Adult Education, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Whilst research has been conducted on reading skills at primary school level in South Africa, not much research exists on writing, especially boys’ writing. This article focuses on the use of an interactive questionnaire to get Grade 6 boys involved in research that is based on a cycle of the writing programme as prescribed by the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement. Underpinned by literature on research with children and on boys’ learning and writing, a questionnaire was developed, piloted and adapted to engage boys actively in the research process and facilitate ease of use. The questionnaire was then administered to 39 Grade 6 boys from two schools in KwaZulu-Natal. An evaluation of the use of the questionnaire found that four key lessons emerged: attention to affective responses, supporting and scaffolding the process, using appropriate multi-modality and using incentives to engage participants. The article argues that careful consideration of the research participants’ interests, age, gender and cultural motivation is an important part of affording them agency in the research process.


Boys' Writing; Interactive Questionnaire


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