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School choice – as if learners matter: black African learners’ views on choosing schools in South Africa
Vuyisile Msila
Mevlana International Journal of Education , 2011,
Abstract: School choice in South Africa has accorded the majority of middle class black African parents an exit option away from many historically black African schools. This has been one of education’s major developments in post-Apartheid South Africa. Dissatisfied with underperforming historically black African schools in the townships, these parents choose what they regard to be effective schools, mostly situated outside the townships. The paradox and disadvantage of the flight from the township schools though, is that many of these schools are left with dwindling quality. Yet the majority of black African working class children with few or no choices are still trapped in many underperforming township schools. This study focused on the rights of children in choosing schools. Frequently, when it comes to school choice, it is parents’ views of good schools that matter in the debate. This study though, investigated whether the children do have a sense of what effective schools are. One of the major findings in the study was that although they might have less social and cultural capital, working class children attending dysfunctional and underperforming schools have an idea of what the ideal should be. Learners are not passive in their schooling; they have their own expectations and “know” what constitutes “good” schools.
Learners’ perceptions of learners regarded as having a homosexual orientation in an independent secondary school environment  [PDF]
Hendrik P. Mostert,Chris Myburgh,Marie Poggenpoel
Curationis , 2012,
Abstract: In schools today discrimination based on sexual orientation takes place on a regular basis. This form of discrimination leads to aggression towards learners perceived to be homosexual, as well as towards those with a homosexual orientation. For more than 15 years South Africa has been a democratic country with laws that protect learners who have a homosexual orientation. Nevertheless, aggression and discrimination towards these learners still occur in schools. Aggression often leads to verbal and physical bullying of the victims by perpetrators. The objectives of this research were to explore and describe Grade 11 learners’ experiences of aggression towards learners perceived to be homosexual as well as those with a homosexual orientation in an independent secondary school environment. The research design was qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual in nature. The data for this investigation consisted of essays based on a published newspaper photograph, phenomenological group interviews, observations and field notes. Tesch’s method of data analysis was used, and an independent coder assisted. Three themes were identified, discussed and supported by a literature control: that learners experience that it is right and acceptable to have a homosexual orientation; that they experience ambivalence towards homosexual orientation of learners; and experienced feelings that it is wrong to have a homosexual orientation. Recommended guidelines are provided to address aggression towards learners perceived to be homosexual and those with a homosexual orientation.
The extent and practice of inclusion in independent schools in South Africa
E Walton, N Nel, H Hugo, H Muller
South African Journal of Education , 2009,
Abstract: In line with international trends in education, South Africa has embraced inclusive education as the means by which learners who experience barriers to learning will be educated. As inclusion is beginning to be realised in South African schools, a gap in the emerging research base on inclusive education is that of inclusion in the independent sector. A study was undertaken to establish the extent to which learners who experience barriers to learning are included in independent schools belonging to ISASA (the largest independent schools association in South Africa) and the practices that facilitate inclusion. The results of a survey administered to principals were analysed quantitatively and reveal that most ISASA schools include learners who experience various barriers to learning and employ inclusive practices that are described in the international literature. We report on salient aspects emerging from the study and focus on the diversity of learners found in ISASA schools, as well as the inclusive practices found at school-wide, classroom, and individual levels. The practices described are the provision of on-site specialist personnel, support for teachers, building modifications to ensure access by persons using wheelchairs and various instructional practices and assessment adaptations. Recommendations arising from the study may give direction to South African schools pursuing inclusivity. South African Journal of Education Vol. 29 (1) 2009: pp. 105-126
The extent and practice of inclusion in independent schools in South Africa  [cached]
Elizabeth Walton,Norma Nel,Anna Hugo,Helene Muller
South African Journal of Education , 2009,
Abstract: In line with international trends in education, South Africa has embraced inclusive education as the means by which learners who experience barriers to learning will be educated. As inclusion is beginning to be realised in South African schools, a gap in the emerging research base on inclusive education is that of inclusion in the independent sector. A study was undertaken to establish the extent to which learners who experience barriers to learning are included in independent schools belonging to ISASA (the largest independent schools association in South Africa) and the practices that facilitate inclusion. The results of a survey administered to principals were analysed quantitatively and reveal that most ISASA schools include learners who experience various barriers to learning and employ inclusive practices that are described in the international literature. We report on salient aspects emerging from the study and focus on the diversity of learners found in ISASA schools, as well as the inclusive practices found at school-wide, classroom, and individual levels. The practices described are the provision of on-site specialist personnel, support for teachers, building modifications to ensure access by persons using wheelchairs and various instructional practices and assessment adaptations. Recommendations arising from the study may give direction to South African schools pursuing inclusivity.
The academic engagement of intellectually challenged learners in inclusive schools: a case study  [cached]
Sonti Zelma Mokobane
Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences , 2011,
Abstract: This paper reports on significant findings from research into facilitating the engagement of differently-abled learners in inclusive schools. The study was conducted at one of the schools considered to be a model of inclusive education in a semi-urban area located in the northern part of Tshwane, Gauteng Province, South Africa. The purpose of the study is to explore academic engagement of intellectually challenged learners in inclusive schools and to suggest strategies that can improve their effective engagement. The design type is a qualitative single case study. Data presented was obtained by means of focus group and one-on-one interviews with educators and learners. Data was analysed following the spiral method of Creswell. Findings revealed that even through their frustrations educators do make positive strides in engaging the intellectually challenged learners in inclusive classes, and the findings are relevant for developing strategies necessary for improving this. Teachers indicated that they use various strategies of engaging learners in academic activities, such as giving immediate feedback, but there was no consistency in using the strategy. There should be consistency when using strategies, so that they can yield positive results
The influence of township schools on the resilience of their learners
R Mampane, C Bouwer
South African Journal of Education , 2011,
Abstract: Many learners living in townships require protection and resilience to overcome obstacles and adversities in their context of development. The literature on resilience indicates strongly that resilience is embedded systemically. In the absence of constructive and supportive conditions in the home environment, the school would logically appear to be the next resource in line to be tapped. We investigated the contribution of two South African township schools to the resilience of their middleadolescent learners. Case studies with focus groups of resilient and less-resilient Grade 9 learners were used, following the Interactive Qualitative Analysis method, to determine the participants’ perceptions of how the school contributes to the degree and nature of their resilience. The influence of the school varied depending on the degree of the learners’ resilience, but also depending on factors within the school itself, suggesting that schools play a distinctive and determining role. Contributions particularly highlighted included creation, or failure to create, a supportive teaching and learning environment with effective implementation of rules and educational policy to provide care and safety for its learners and develop them to reach their future goals. Resilient learners were more ready than less resilient learners to acknowledge and utilise these characteristics. All focus groups placed much emphasis on goal attainment, suggesting a strong relationship with resilience.
The influence of township schools on the resilience of their learners
Ruth Mampane,Cecilia Bouwer
South African Journal of Education , 2011,
Abstract: Many learners living in townships require protection and resilience to overcome obstacles and adversities in their context of development. The literature on resilience indicates strongly that resilience is embedded systemically. In the absence of constructive and supportive conditions in the home environment, the school would logically appear to be the next resource in line to be tapped. We investigated the contribution of two South African township schools to the resilience of their middleadolescent learners. Case studies with focus groups of resilient and less-resilient Grade 9 learners were used, following the Interactive Qualitative Analysis method, to determine the participants' perceptions of how the school contributes to the degree and nature of their resilience. The influence of the school varied depending on the degree of the learners' resilience, but also depending on factors within the school itself, suggesting that schools play a distinctive and determining role. Contributions particularly highlighted included creation, or failure to create, a supportive teaching and learning environment with effective implementation of rules and educational policy to provide care and safety for its learners and develop them to reach their future goals. Resilient learners were more ready than less resilient learners to acknowledge and utilise these characteristics. All focus groups placed much emphasis on goal attainment, suggesting a strong relationship with resilience.
Aggression, anger and violence in South Africa
M.J. Masango
HTS Theological Studies/Teologiese Studies , 2009, DOI: 10.4102/hts.v60i3.609
Abstract: This article traces the roots of aggression, anger and violence in South Africa and the rest of the world. The paper is divided into four parts: Aggression, Anger, Catharsis and Violence. As a result of violence against other human beings, especially women and children, a profound respect for human dignity has been lost. People have become extremely aggressive. The last few decades have created a culture of violence because of the suppression or oppression of feelings. The article argues that frustration yields anger that leads to violent acts. The root cause of violence is frustration, which finally (if not attended to) produces anger, anxiety, conflict and the eruption of violence. Suicide bombers in Palestine and other parts of the world demonstrate this type of aggression, anger and violence. Anger, on the one hand, is a good defense mechanism. It helps people cope with frustration. Violence, on the other hand, is used as a means of dominance, especially against women and children. In a political situation it is used as a means of changing social structures.
Manifestations of ‘capabilities poverty’ with learners attending informal settlement schools
R Maarman
South African Journal of Education , 2009,
Abstract: In this study I use the notion of ‘capabilities poverty’, as theorised by Sen, to examine the experiences of learners attending informal settlement schools in North-West Province, South Africa. Sen distinguishes between functionings (what people do or their ability to do something) and capabilities (various combinations of what people do, their notions of freedom, what life opportunities they may have). The study was based on a sample of respondents from four schools in the Sarafina informal settlement in Ikageng township in the municipal district of Tlokwe (Potchefstroom). It captured some complexities of schooling within South Africa’s democratic educational framework and clearly exposed the manifestations of capabilities poverty. The precise location of capabilities poverty within the plethora of poverty approaches presents educational research with a reality check when looking at informal settlement schools. The study revealed a multiplicity of barriers for informal settlement learners that prevent them from choosing the educational experience they value and contributes to research into the nuanced nature of the interface between poverty and schooling.
Manifestations of 'capabilities poverty' with learners attending informal settlement schools  [cached]
Rouaan Maarman
South African Journal of Education , 2009,
Abstract: In this study I use the notion of 'capabilities poverty', as theorised by Sen, to examine the experiences of learners attending informal settlement schools in North-West Province, South Africa. Sen distinguishes between functionings (what people do or their ability to do something) and capabilities (various combi-nations of what people do, their notions of freedom, what life opportunities they may have). The study was based on a sample of respondents from four schools in the Sarafina informal settlement in Ikageng township in the municipal district of Tlokwe (Potchefstroom). It captured some complexities of schooling within South Africa's democratic educational framework and clearly exposed the mani-festations of capabilities poverty. The precise location of capabilities poverty within the plethora of poverty approaches presents educational research with a reality check when looking at informal settlement schools. The study revealed a multiplicity of barriers for informal settlement learners that prevent them from choosing the educational experience they value and contributes to research into the nuanced nature of the interface between poverty and schooling.
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