The effect of selected cultural and initiative activities on the attitude of first year students towards ethnicity in a multicultural institution

Roux, Charl J. (Charl Jacobus) (2000-12)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In 1994 the Durban College of Education, that used to be an all white Afrikaans-medium institution, changed to a multicultural institution with Afrikaans and English as medium of instruction. The author, other lecturers and teachers of all races have not been educated to teach from a multicultural perspective and due to stereotyping and prejudices which were still dormant, a great need arose to address the cultural diversity of the college. This diversity lead to differences in culture, which lead to conflicts and may even have been responsible for poor academic achievements. As a lecturer at the Durban College of Education, the author became interested in whether selected initiative and cultural activities could foster a positive self-concept and a positive attitude towards other students of the same ethnic group, as well as towards students of other ethnic groups. The author agreed with De Klerk and Labuschagne (1995) that cultural differences have a great impact on the life, personal development and academic achievements of the students at a multicultural institution of higher education. The author also believes that students should be guided (Wasserman, 1997) in how to perceive themselves and other students of all ethnic groups. This will assist them. to achieve a successful academic career (Greyling, 1997) without wrong perceptions, stereotyping and prejudices (Van der Walt, 1991). The subjects for this study (N=127) were all first year students at the Durban College of Education. The group was comprised of black students (n=24); white English speaking students (n=58); white Afrikaans-speaking students (n=34) and Indian students (n=11) (see table 3 page 43). A pre-test was administered to determine the initial status of the subjects. An intervention programme followed and a post-test was administered directly after the intervention programme (see chapter 4). A follow-up test was administered three months later to determine the influence of the daily college routine on the self-concept and attitude towards ethnicity of the subjects. A control group (N=30) also completed the three questionnaires. The control group did not follow the intervention programme. Adolescent Sport Self-concept Scale of Smith (in Paterson 1991) and an ethnic attitude scale, was administered. The ethnic attitude scale was based on the ethnic attitude scales used by Paterson (1991) and Pretorius (1978). This ethnic attitude scale was adapted to adhere to the needs of this study. The data were computerised; at-test statistic and a Duncan's multiple range test were applied to determine if there were significant differences. By comparing the results of the experimental group with that of the control group, it was evident that after the intervention programme, there was a significant positive change (p<O.01) not only in the self-concept of the first year students, but also in the attitude of these students towards students of the same ethnic group, as well as towards students of other ethnic groups. The same results were evident after the three-month period in which no special treatment had been administered. To ensure similar positive effects in the future, a follow-up programme, similar to the intervention programme, would be necessary. The intervention programme accordingly served its purpose as part of the orientation programme well. There are, however, many changes to be made to suit the needs and requirements of other institutions that would wish to use similar programmes. The dynamic interaction of energetic facilitators is essential. If possible, the facilitators should come from the student body to create more interaction within the student community.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Durbanse Onderwyskollege wat voorheen 'n inrigting vir Afrikaanssprekende blankes was, het in 1994 na 'n multikulturele inrigting verander met beide Afrikaans en Engels as voertale. Die skrywer, baie ander dosente en onderwysers van alle rasse is tans nog nie geskool om vanuit multikulturele perspektiewe te onderrig nie. 'n Groot behoefte het ontstaan om die kulturele diversiteit van die kollege aan te spreek aangesien stereotipering en vooroordele nog steeds onder die studente voorgekom het. As 'n dosent aan die Durbanse Onderwyskollege, het die skrywer gewonder of uitgesoekte inisiatiewe en kulturele aktiwiteite 'n positiewe verandering in die houding van die eerstejaarstudente teenoor die self, teenoor studente van dieselfde etniese groep, sowel as studente van ander etniese groepe sal hê. Die skrywer stem saam met De Klerk en Labuschagne (1995) dat kulturele verskille 'n groot uitwerking op die lewe, persoonlike ontwikkeling en akademiese prestasie van studente het. Hy glo ook dat studente gelei moet word (Wasserman, 1997) in hul beskouing van hulself en studente van alle rasse, sodat hul akademiese loopbaan nie skade moet lei onder verkeerde persepsies, stereotipering en vooroordele nie. Hierdie verskille kan ly tot swak akamiese prestasies (Greyling, 1997) en kulturele konflik (Van der Walt, 1991). 'n Voortoets is afgeneem om die aanvanklike houding van die proefpersone te bepaal. Die proefpersone van die eksperimentele groep het onmiddellik na die voortoets 'n intervensieprogram gevolg. Direk na die intervensieprogram is In natoets afgeneem om die invloed van die intervensieprogram te bepaal. 'n Verdere opvolgtoets is drie maande na die intervensieprogram afgeneem om te bepaal hoe blywend die veranderde houding van die proefpersone was. Die - proefpersone (N=127) was almal eerstejaarstudente aan die Durbanse Onderwyskollege en het bestaan uit; swart studente (n=24), blanke (Engelssprekende) studente (n=58), blanke (Afrikaanssprekende) studente (n=34) en Indiër studente (n=11). 'n Kontrole groep (N=30) het ook die drie toetse afgelê. Hulle het nie die intervensieprogram gevolg nie. Die toetse was in die vorm van 'n vraelys wat gebaseer is op die Selfkonsepskaal van Coopersmith (1967) asook die Adolesente Sport-selfkonsepskaal van Smit (in Paterson, 1991). Die vraelys het ook 'n aangepaste etniese houdingskaal ingesluit wat op die vraelyste van Paterson (1991) en Pretorius (1978) gebaseer is. Hierdie houdingskaal is spesiaal aangepas om aan die spesifieke behoeftes van hierdie studie te voldoen. Die data is deur 'n rekenaar verwerk. 'n T-toets en Duncan se veelvuldige omvangtoets is aangewend om enige beduidende verskille te bepaal. Deur die resultate van die eksperimentele met die resultate van die kontrole groep te vergelyk, het aan die lig gekom dat daar 'n beduidende (p<O.01) positiewe verandering in die selfkonsep, en in die houding teenoor etnisiteit van die proefpersone in die eksperimentele groep was. Die positiewe verandering was na die drie-maandetydperk na die intervensieprogram nog steeds sigbaar. Na aanleiding van die resultate van hierdie studie, het die program sy doel as deel van die oriëntasieprogram van die eerstejaarstudente aan die Durbanse Onderwyserskollege gedien. Daar behoort egter baie veranderinge aangebring te word ten einde die program te verbeter, sou enige ander inrigtings soortgelyke programme wil gebruik. Eie inisiatiewe en kulturele aktiwiteite moet gebruik word om aan hulle spesifieke behoeftes te voldoen. Die sukses van so 'n program sal van die dinamiese en energieke aanbieding van die fasiliteerders afhang. Die fasiliteerders moet verkieslik vanuit die studente leierskorps kom om sodoende die verhouding in die studentegemeenskap te versterk.

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