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n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die dissiplinedilemma in post-apartheid Suid-Afrikaanse hoërskole : 'n kwalitatiewe ontleding

Volume 47, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0041-4751

Abstract

Die demokratiseringsproses in Suid-Afrika wat in 1994 beslag gekry het, het 'n geweldige impak op sosiale, ekonomiese en politieke terrein gehad. Hierdie impak het onvermydelik uitgekring na die onderwyssisteem met gevolglik verreikende veranderinge. Die vorige onderwysbedeling, wat gekenmerk is deur rigiede reëls, streng dissipline en 'n patriargale verhouding tussen onderwyser en leerder, het plek gemaak vir 'n nuwe benadering, naamlik . Die gepaardgaande vestiging van 'n kultuur van regte in die nuwe demokratiese bestel, plaas skole in die spervuur van konstitusionele hervorming. In die nuwe bedeling is lyfstraf - 'n voorheen aanvaarbare praktyk om leerders te dissiplineer - afgeskaf, en word leerders toenemend van hulle regte bewus gemaak. Hierdie klem op regte het onder andere meegebring dat die gesag van onderwysers en skoolhoofde sodanig ondermyn word dat die effektiewe handhawing van dissipline tans een van die grootste knelpunte in die onderwys is. Die doel met hierdie artikel is om die oorsake van die wydverspreide dissiplineprobleme te identifiseer en aan te spreek. Dit word gedoen aan die hand van onderhoude wat met vyf skoolhoofde in Pretoria gevoer is, asook relevante literatuurbevindinge. Die artikel sluit af met aanbevelings oor hoe aan die probleme rondom dissipline by skole aandag gegee kan word.


The democratization of South Africa in 1994, which hugely impacted on the social, economic and political sectors, subsequently led to far-reaching changes in the education system. The previous education system, which was characterized by rigid rules, strict discipline and a patriarchal relationship between teacher and learner, was substituted by a new approach, Outcomes Based Education. The establishment of a culture of rights placed schools in the middle of a barrage of constitutional reform. In the new dispensation corporal punishment, which had previously been an acceptable means of disciplining learners, was abolished and learners were made aware of their human rights. As a consequence, the authority of teachers and principals has since been eroded to the point where the maintenance of proper discipline presently constitutes a thorny dilemma which impacts negatively on teaching and learning in schools.
During the past few months many have voiced their disapproval of the lack of discipline in schools which has escalated to the point where a growing number of educators are traumatised by its effect. This flurry of protest is led by those who argue that the situation would only be remedied by the prompt reinstatement of corporal punishment in schools. However, their argument is counteracted by the view that a return to corporal punishment would merely be a quick fix and therefore short-sighted. Those who propagate the latter view quote research, both nationally and internationally, which consistently points to the detrimental effects of reactive forms of punishment such as corporal punishment, aggressive verbal chastisement, expulsion and exclusion.
It seems evident that the abolishment of corporal punishment in 1996 has left a gap. The apparentinability of many educators to manage learner behaviour is cumbersome. They seemingly lack the skills to bridge the gap between reactive and pro-active discipline, the latter denoting more positive forms of discipline. It seems that the inability of some teachers to manage learner behaviour effectively,adversely leads to the implementation of erroneous and occasionally even illegal forms of discipline which clearly violate the constitutional rights of learners. Research indicates that these methods do not effect positive behavioural change. On the contrary, it shows that punishment-based interventions in fact cause an increase in behavioural problems among learners.

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/content/akgees/47/3/EJC20054
2007-09-01
2019-12-13

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