An investigation into underperformance in Social Studies grade 5-7 in selected Namibian primary schools: A case study

Negumbo, Theopolina Anna Ndahekelekwa (2016-12)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2016

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : The study, situated in the context of Namibia, describes the results of research undertaken with regard to the underperformance of Grade 5 to 7 learners in Social Studies. The initial results of an analysis of the results in Social Studies between 2008 and 2014 in three selected schools in the Karas Region, Namibia, indicated severe underperformance. The researcher, as part of the case study, identified three schools in an effort to determine the possible causes of learners’ underperformance in Social Studies in these selected schools. The study posed the following research question: What are the possible causes of underperformance of learners in Social Studies in Grade 5 to 7 at primary schools in Namibia? A qualitative case study research design, guided by an interpretive research paradigm, was employed to answer the research question and achieve the aims and objectives of the study. Data were collected from biographical and semi-structured interviews, lesson observations and analysis of appropriate documents. The purpose of using different methods in this study was to ensure that through triangulation, validity and reliability could be obtained. The data collected were analysed through thematic analysis. Findings from the data indicated a number of possible causes for the underperformance of learners, namely lack of trained teachers, insufficient teaching approaches, unconducive physical teaching contexts, lack of teaching and learning materials and lack of optimal parental involvement in their children’s education due to work situations. The majority of the participants argued that English as the medium of instruction in Namibian schools is one of the barriers for learners learning Social Studies as well as other subjects. However, the participants confirmed that learners’ lack of English proficiency is due to the language backgrounds of the learners. Recommendations are made to address these problems.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie studie, wat in die konteks van Namibië uitgevoer is, beskryf die resultate van navorsing oor die onderprestasie van graad 5- tot 7-leerders in Sosiale Studies. Die aanvanklike resultate van ʼn ontleding van die Sosiale Studie-uitslae tussen 2008 en 2014 in drie gekose skole in die Karas-streek, Namibië, het ernstige onderprestasie aangetoon. Die navorser het as deel van die gevallestudie drie skole geïdentifiseer in ʼn poging om die moontlike oorsake van leerders se onderprestasie in Sosiale Studies in hierdie gekose skole te bepaal. Die studie is deur die volgende navorsingsvraag gerig: Wat is die moontlike oorsake van onderprestasie van leerders in Sosiale Studies in graad 5 tot 7 by laerskole in Namibië? ʼn Kwalitatiewe gevallestudie-ontwerp, gerig deur ʼn interpretatiewe navorsingsparadigma, is gebruik om die navorsingsvraag te beantwoord en die doelwitte en doelstellings van die studie te bereik. Data is ingesamel deur biografiese en semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude, leswaarnemings en ʼn ontleding van toepaslike dokumente. Die doel van die gebruik van verskillende metodes in hierdie studie was om te verseker dat geldigheid en betroubaarheid deur triangulasie verkry word. Die ingesamelde data is deur tematiese ontleding ontleed. Bevindinge uit die data het op etlike moontlike oorsake van onderprestasie gewys, naamlik gebrek aan opgeleide onderwysers, ondoeltreffende onderrigmetodes, niebevorderlike kontekste van fisiese onderrig, gebrek aan onderrig-en-leermateriaal en gebrek aan optimale ouerbetrokkenheid by kinders se opvoeding weens werksomstandighede. Die meerderheid deelnemers het aangevoer dat Engels as onderrigtaal in Namibiese skole een van die hindernisse is vir leerders in Sosiale Studies asook in ander vakke. Die deelnemers het egter bevestig dat leerders se gebrek aan Engelse taalbeheersing die gevolg is van die leerders se taalagtergrond. Aanbevelings word gemaak om hierdie probleme te oorbrug.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100287
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