Primary school learners’ perspectives on factors that impact their learning and wellbeing at school

Gae, Winnie (2016-12)

Thesis (MEdPsych) --Stellenbosch University, 2016

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : Primary school children’s perspectives on wellbeing and learning are always heard from the teachers’ or adults’ perspectives. It is seldom that learners are asked about their perspectives when it comes to their wellbeing and learning at school. Research has suggested that children are marginalised and not given an opportunity to participate in matters that concern them. According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, Article 12 maintains that children have a right to express their views and have them taken seriously in accordance with their age and maturity. It has also been found that it has been one of the most challenging to implement. This study aimed to gain insight from the perspectives of the learners to be informed on what they think affects their wellbeing and learning at school. Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological model was used as a frame. Qualitative research, using visual methods, focus groups and classroom observations were used as tools to explore and then describe the participants’ perspectives. The study was conducted as a case study and purposive sampling was utilised to select the participants. Six girls and six boys from three Grade seven classes were selected. The participants gave their perspectives on factors that affect their wellbeing as they had been at the school longer than other learners. The data collected were analysed using thematic analysis. The findings suggested positive and negative aspects that affected the learners at school. Play or sport and extra-mural activities brought happiness to them though extramural activities are practised minimally at the school. Corporal punishment and bullying also emerged as themes that brought fear to the learners. From these findings it was recommended that the school be advised on bullying and on children’s rights in order to help them with drafting school policies that keep the children’s perspectives in mind.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Laerskoolkinders se perspektiewe oor welwees en leer word altyd vanuit die perspektief van onderwysers of volwassenes gehoor. Leerders word selde gevra oor hulle perspektiewe oor hul welwees en leer by die skool. Die navorsing dui daarop dat kinders gemarginaliseer word en nie ʼn geleentheid gebied word om deel te neem in kwessies wat hulle raak nie. Volgens Artikel 12 van die Verenigde Nasies se Konferensie oor die Regte van die Kind in 1989, het kinders ʼn reg om hul menings te lug en om ernstig opgeneem te word ooreenkomstig hul ouderdom en volwassenheid. Aanduidings is dat dit een van die mees uitdagende dinge is om te implementeer. Die studie het gepoog om vanuit die perspektiewe van die leerders insig te verkry oor hulle beskouings van wat hulle welwees en leer by die skool beïnvloed. Bronfenbrenner se bio-ekologiese model is as raamwerk gebruik. Kwalitatiewe navorsing met behulp van visuele metodes, fokusgroepe en waarnemings in die klaskamer is gebruik om die deelnemers se perspektiewe te verken en te beskryf. Die studie is as ʼn gevallestudie gedoen en deelnemers is deur middel van doelgerigte steekproefneming gekies. Ses meisies en ses seuns uit drie graad 7-klasse is gekies. Aangesien die deelnemers langer as ander leerders by die skool was, het hulle hul perspektiewe oor faktore wat hul welwees beïnvloed gegee. Tematiese analise is gebruik om die data wat ingesamel is te ontleed. Die bevindings het gedui op gunstige en ongunstige aspekte wat die leerders by die skool beïnvloed het. Speel of sport en buitemuurse aktiwiteite het hulle gelukkig gemaak – hoewel buitemuurse aktiwiteite weinig by die skool beoefen word. Lyfstraf en afknouery het ook na vore gekom as temas wat die leerders bang gemaak het. Na aanleiding van hierdie bevindings is aanbeveel dat die skool leiding kry oor die hantering van afknouery en oor kinders se regte om hulle te help met die opstel van ʼn skoolbeleid wat die kinders se perspektiewe in ag neem.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100012
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