Schooling experiences of Xhosa speaking learners as a minority in a high school: implications for support

Singh, Suzanne Angelique Maria (2012-03)

Thesis (MedPsych)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African Schools Act (DoE, 1996) formalised access to quality education for all by granting learners access to any school regardless of social, economic, race and cultural backgrounds. This saw many black families in South Africa enrolling their children into former white schools with the perception that these schools were better resourced and that their children would therefore receive a better education. The purpose of the study is therefore to enhance understanding of the experiences of the Xhosa learners as a minority in a former Model C school and to evaluate the life experiences of the learners within the context of the school system and how these experiences may be influencing their academic success. An eco-systemic theoretical framework guided the approach and orientation to the study undertaken by the researcher. This framework enabled the researcher to contextualise the study within the interacting systems that indirectly and directly influence the life experiences of the participants. The study's research methodology can be described as basic qualitative research embedded within an interpretive paradigm. The participants in grade 9 to 11 (two per grade) were purposively selected to participate in the study. Two methods of data collection were used, namely six individual semi-structured interviews and one focus group interview. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data. The research findings indicate that the major reasons for poor academic performance of this minority group are linked to discriminative attitudes and feelings of inadequacy. When learners experience the school as a safe place in which they have a sense of belonging, they are more motivated to learn. Working towards the creation and sustainment of this safe environment, which adequately supports the needs of the learners, requires genuine and continual collaboration between the interacting systems within the context of the learners.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid-Afrikaanse Skolewet (DoE, 1996) het toegang tot gehalte onderwys vir almal gewettig deur toelating aan leerders tot enige skool te verleen, ongeag van hulle sosiale-, ekonomiese-, rasse- en kulturele agtergronde. Baie swart gesinne in Suid-Afrika het dus hulle kinders in voormalige wit skole geplaas, met die persepsie dat hierdie skole beter toegerus is en dat hul kinders beter onderrig sou ontvang. Die doel van hierdie studie was dus om die ervarings van die Xhosa-leerders, as 'n minderheidsgroep in 'n voormalige Model C-skool, beter te verstaan en om die lewenservarings van die leerders binne die konteks van die skoolstelsel te evalueer asook die moontlike invloed op hul akademiese suksesse. 'n Eko-sistemiese, teoretiese raamwerk het die benadering en oriëntasie van die studie, wat deur die navorser onderneem is, gelei. Hierdie raamwerk het die navorser in staat gestel om die studie binne die interaksie-sisteme, wat 'n direkte en indirekte invloed op die lewenservarings van die deelnemers kan hê, te kontekstualiseer. Die studie se navorsingsmetodologie kan beskryf word as 'n basiese kwalitatiewe navorsing, ingebed binne 'n interpretatiewe (verklarende) paradigma. Twee deelnemers per graad, vanaf graad 9 tot 11 is doelgerig gekies om deel te neem aan die studie. Twee metodes van data-insameling is gebruik, naamlik ses individuele semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude en een fokusgroep onderhoud. 'n Kwalitatiewe inhoudsanalise is gebruik om die data te ontleed. Die navorsing dui daarop dat die vernaamste redes vir die swak akademiese prestasie van hierdie minderheidsgroep gekoppel is aan diskriminerende houdings en gevoelens van ontoereikendheid. Wanneer leerders die skool as 'n veilige plek van geborgenheid en toebehorenheid ervaar, is hulle meer gemotiveerd om te leer. Die skepping en vestiging van hierdie veilige leefwêreld, wat die behoeftes van die leerders voldoende ondersteun, vereis ware, voortdurende samewerking tussen die sistemiese interaksies binne die konteks van die leerders.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/19973
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