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Adolescent identity experiences of historically disadvantaged scholarship recipients attending independent South African high schools

Simpson, Abigail (2012-03)

Thesis (MEdPsych)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Little is known about the experiences that previously disadvantaged bursary and scholarship learners have in independent South African schools. Many scholarship and bursary recipients are from homes that fall into the low to middle income groups and they find themselves surrounded by boys and girls who are from high income, affluent homes. The aim of this study is to gain an understanding of the experiences that scholarship learners have within independent school environments and to find out what the opportunities and challenges are that they may face. Bronfenbrenner‟s bioecological model was used as theoretical framework as it incorporates a number of different interconnected systems that will influence the participant's lives and their experiences. These microsystems included parents, school, peers and the individual. This study's research methodology is a phenomenological approach which is embedded within the interpretative paradigm. Purposeful sampling was used to select eight learners from four different independent schools in the Western Cape. Two semi-structured interviews were conducted within two months of each other, with each of the participants. Phenomenological data analysis was conducted to analyse the information provided in the interviews. The research findings indicated that previously disadvantaged scholarship learners face a great deal of pressure in the form of high expectations being placed on them, both academically and behaviourally. Racial stereotyping was found to be prevalent with regards to assumptions made about learner's academic abilities and financial backgrounds. Challenges related to cultural difference and financial challenges were also noted.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Min is bekend oor die ervarings wat voorheen benadeelde beurs-leerders in onafhanklike (private) Suid-Afrikaanse skole. Baie beurshouers kom uit huise wat in die lae tot middel inkomste groepe val, en hulle vind hulself tussen seuns en meisies wat van hoë-inkomste huise kom. Die doel van hierdie studie is om die ervarings wat die beursleerders in onafhanklike skool omgewings beter te verstaan en vas te stel watter geleenthede en uitdagings hulle ervaar. Bronfenbrenner se bioëkologiese model word gebruik as ‟n teoretiese raamwerk omdat dit verskillende stelsels insluit wat ‟n invloed sal hê op die deelnemers se lewens en ervarings. Die mikrostelsel sluit die ouers, skool, portuurgroep en individu in. Hierdie studie se navorsingsmetodologie is 'n fenomenologiese benadering wat binne die interpretatiewe paradigma ingebed is. Doelgerigte steekproefneming is gebruik om agt leerders van vier verskillende onafhanklike skole in die Wes-Kaap te kies. Twee semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude is gevoer met elkeen van die deelnemers tussen ‟n tydperk van twee maande. Fenomenologiese data-analise is gebruik om die inligting van die onderhoude te analiseer. Die navorsingsbevindinge het aangedui dat die deelnemers baie druk ervaar in die vorm van hoë verwagtinge wat op hulle geplaas word, in terme van hul akademiese prestasie en gedrag. Algemene rasse-stereotipering was gevind met betrekking tot die aannames wat gemaak is oor die leerders se akademiese vermoëns en finansiële agtergronde. Kulturele verskille en finansiële uitdagings is ook opgemerk.

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