South African Journal of Education - Volume 34, Issue 4, 2014
Volume 34, Issue 4, 2014
Factors contributing to the resilience of middle-adolescents in a South African township : insights from a resilience questionnaireAuthor Motlalepule Ruth MampaneSource: South African Journal of Education 34, pp 1 –11 (2014)More Less
Factors that contribute to resilience are key to the positive development of youths, and knowledge of such factors is essential for promoting resilience in schools through both policy and practice. This study reports on the results of an item and factor analysis of the Resilience Questionnaire for Middle-adolescents in Township Schools (R-MATS) that was used to survey 291 Grade 9 middle-adolescent learners from two black-only township secondary schools. The majority of respondents indicated an overall sense of contending with various stressors, especially the exposure to violence, and academic challenges. Respondents attributed their buoyancy to individual and environmental factors, such as self-confidence, an internal locus of control, a tough personality, commitment, being achievement-oriented, as well as positive identification of and access to social support.
Secondary school teachers' experiences of teaching pregnant learners in Limpopo province, South AfricaSource: South African Journal of Education 34, pp 1 –11 (2014)More Less
This paper presents the findings of a study on the experiences of secondary school teachers on teaching pregnant learners in Limpopo Province. A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual design was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten purposively selected secondary school teachers. Data analysis yielded six themes, which are: (1) identification of pregnant learners; (2) continuation of pregnant learners' school career; (3) dilemmas related to school-attending pregnant learners; (4) support of school-attending pregnant learners; (5) gender in pregnancy caretaking; and (6) communication and cooperation between teachers and parents. Teachers experienced challenges in identifying pregnant learners, and to meet their health needs as they lacked health related skills. Parents were not always cooperative towards teachers. It can be concluded that teachers face many dilemmas related to pregnant learners, and this requires a health facilitation model to enable teachers to assist pregnant learners such that they might better benefit from their schooling, and experience a positive health outcome.
'All stories bring hope because stories bring awareness' : students' perceptions of digital storytelling for social justice educationSource: South African Journal of Education 34, pp 1 –12 (2014)More Less
Although becoming a more racially-integrated society, the legacy of Apartheid still affects learners' social engagements in and outside their classrooms. Adopting Nussbaum's (2010) capabilities framework for a socially just democracy, this paper examines 27 pre-service teacher education students' perceptions of a digital storytelling project and its potential for recognising and honouring capabilities necessary for engaging empathetically with the 'other'. Using narrative inquiry, and specifically Bamberg's (2006) 'small stories' approach, the research team analysed 30 stories students constructed in four focus group conversations at the end of the project. In these stories, most of Nussbaum's (2010) capabilities were evident. We found that, in the collective sharing of their stories, students positioned themselves as agentive selves, displaying the belief that they can make a difference, not only individually within their own classrooms, but also as a collective of teachers.
Teachers' social capital as a resource for curriculum development : lessons learnt in the implementation of a Child-Friendly Schools programmeSource: South African Journal of Education 34, pp 1 –8 (2014)More Less
This paper reports on lessons learnt in the use of teachers' social capital as a resource for curriculum development, in the implementation of the Child-Friendly Schools (CFS) programme in South Africa. The researchers in this study were amongst the trainers. The study followed a qualitative research approach, where a descriptive research design was adopted. Twenty teachers (two groups, of ten each) were recruited to form part of the study through a purposive sampling strategy. Data was collected through two methods: interviews and observations. The data collected was explicated using Hycner's (1999) model of data analysis. Data transcripts were re-read until categories and themes emerged. The study found that teachers were enthusiastic about implementing the programme as they participated actively in it through the implementation of CFS principles in their Life Orientation (LO) classrooms. The findings of this study have at least two implications for policy makers and researchers. The first is that the one-day workshops that teachers attend over a weekend appear to be inadequate, and could be used to complement more structured interventions such as that described in this article. The second is that teachers' social capital is critical in the implementation of curriculum development processes for an intervention to be effective.
School psychologists' views on challenges in facilitating school development through intersectoral collaborationSource: South African Journal of Education 34, pp 1 –10 (2014)More Less
The role of school psychologists has been debated and contested nationally and internationally for many decades, with an emphasis on the need for a paradigm shift in professional roles. Psychologists may be employed in the private sector, in nongovernmental organisations, in higher education institutions, and by the state. Those employed by the state within the Department of Basic Education are referred to as school psychologists, and are tasked with providing psychological services to public schools. In the Western Cape, the context of this study, school psychologists are assigned to circuit teams, where they are expected to work collaboratively with other professionals to provide support to schools. This paper is focused on school psychologists' perceptions of the challenges that emerge when working with other sectors to facilitate school development. Eight focus group discussions were conducted with 47 school psychologists. The data collected resulted in the generation of five categories of challenges facing school psychologists when they collaborate with other sectors to facilitate school development. These were: diverse discourses and worldviews; roles and boundaries; personal and interpersonal factors; training needs; and organisational challenges. This research contributes towards the deepening of school psychology practice, and to providing important insights towards the enhancement of intersectoral collaboration and school development as aspects of the provision of support to schools in South Africa.
Source: South African Journal of Education 34, pp 1 –6 (2014)More Less
Children and youth need safe and supportive schools if they are to succeed in school, to develop in a healthy manner, and to thrive. These needs are particularly great for children who are vulnerable, namely those who struggle with trauma, the adversities of poverty, and the challenges of racism, ethnocentrism, religious prejudice, and disability. Although disruptive encounters where students feel unsafe may evoke learning for some students, others succumb to them, whether due to genetic based sensitivity (Belsky & Pleuss, 2009), allostatic load (McEwen, 1998), or lack of social support (Masten, 2014). Schools can keep students safe by providing a supportive, respectful, and a caring environment, where students are both secure from physical harm and emotional toxicities (such as bullying, and prejudice), and nourished by community connections to caring teachers and students (Osher, Dwyer, Jimerson & Brown, 2012; Osher, Woodruff & Sims, 2002; Shonkoff, Garner, The Committee on psychosocial aspects of child and family health, The Committee on early childhood, adoption, and dependent care & The Section on developmental and behavioural pediatrics, 2012).