The psychological assessment of children's learning and behavioural problems as manifested in Kwazulu primary schools

Sibaya, Patrick Themba (1992-03)

Thesis (D. Ed.) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1992.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: This study examined the nature of learning and behavioural problems as manifested in KwaZulu primary schools. The first aim was to investigate teachers' perceptions of the nature of learning and behaviour problems as manifested by children in KwaZulu primary schools. The second aim was to find out whether these perceptions are influenced by any particular respondent characteristics. The third aim examined teachers' views of the modus operandi for diagnosis, treatment, and management of these learning and behavioural problems. Finally, teachers' recommendations for intervention strategies with regard to learning and behaviour problems, were investigated. To this end, a standardized scale (DESB) was used to achieve the goals of the first and second aim. The researcher constructed and validated his own scale to meet the objectives of the third and fourth aim. The method of factor analysis was used during validation. The measuring instrument was administered to a representative sample of teachers. Three hundred and eighty correctly completed questionnaires were analyzed., Each of the eleven factors measured by the DESB could be classified into two or three categories. In the first category, group one, teachers perceived factors as extremely deficient in the classroom, category group two consisted of teachers perceiving factors as occurring within normal range in the classroom and category group three included teachers perceiving factors as occurring in excess in the classroom. An, examination of the frequency distribution revealed that there were two clusters of problems. The first cluster consisted of conditions designated as troublesome in the classroom. These were impatience, comprehension, inattentive-withdrawn and creative initiative. This cluster constituted learning problems or difficulties. The second cluster embraced behaviour problems. These were classroom disturbance, disrespect-defiance, external blame, achievement anxiety, external reliance, irrelevant-responsiveness and need for closeness to the teacher. The Anova technique was used to test for the significance of differences among means. In seven out of fourteen instances, there were no significant differences between sex, experience, contact and teachers' perceptions of the nature of learning and behaviour problems. In very few instances, teachers' particulars like sex, contact and experience, yielded statistically significant results. The canonical correlation R statistic was used to test for the relationship between five teachers' particulars and eleven factors. The first and the second canonical correlation coefficients accounted for a significant linkage between the two sets of canonical variables namely eleven DESB factors and teachers' particulars. The Anova technique was also used to test for the significance of differences among means for diagnosis, treatment and management Teachers do not differ in their perceptions of the mode of management of learning and behaviour problems. There are however, significant differences in. the teachers' perceptions of the modes of diagnosis and treatment of learning and behaviour problems. Specific recommendations by teachers on the treatment of learning and behaviour problems, were able to be presented in simple ranked format. These findings were discussed in relation to the literature reviewed, and interpreted within the framework of psychological services delivery in African schools. Suggestions with regard to an alternative, speculative, cost-effective and efficient model for the delivery of psychological services, were made.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie het die omvang en aard van die leer- en gedragsproblematiek, soos gemanifesteer in die primere skole in KwaZulu ondersoek. Die eerste doelstelling van die studie was om insig te verkry in die onderwysers se beskouinge aangaande die leer- en gedragsprobleme van kinders in die primere skole in KwaZulu. Die tweede doel was om te bepaal of die onderwysers se beskouinge deur enige spesifieke persoonlike karakteristieke beinvloed word. Die derde doel was om te bepaal welke sieninge die onderwysers, huldig aangaande die modus operandi vir diagnose, behandeling en hantering van leer- en gedragsprobleme. Daar is ook kennis geneem van onderwysers se aanbevelings met betrekking tot moontlike ingrypingstrategie by die hantering van leeren gedragsprobleme. Ten einde die'eerste en tweede doelstellings te verwesenlik is daar van n gestandaardiseerde skaal (DESB) gebruik gemaak. Om die derde en vierde doelwitte te realiseer is n nuwe skaal ontwerp en gestandaardiseer. Ten einde n geldigheidsindeks te verkry is daar van faktoranalise gebruik gemaak. Die metingsinstrument is toegepas op n verteenwoordigende steekproef van onderwysers in KwaZulu primere skole. n Ontleding van driehonderd en tagtig korrek voltooide vraelyste is uitgevoer. Elk van die elf faktore gemeet deur die DESB kon gereduseer word tot twee of drie meer algemene kategoriee. In die eerste kategorie was die response van diegene wat die faktore as heeltemal afwesig in die klaskamer ervaar het. Kategorie twee, was die onderwysers wat die omvang van die probleme beskou het as binne die normale grense. Kategorie drie was die response van onderwysers wat die faktore in die klaskamer as 'oorweldigend' beskryf het. n Dieper ontleding van die frekwensieverspreiding van die response het aanleiding gegee tot die identifikasie van twee groeperinge. Die eerste groepering het verband gehou met faktore wat as problematies beskou word in die klaskamersituasie. Hierdie groepering het faktore ingesluit soos ongeduldigheid, wanbegrip, onoplettendheid, teruggetrokkenheid en gebrek aan inisiatief en oorspronklikheid. Hierdie groepering het verband gehou met leerprobleme. Die tweede groepering daarenteen het ' betrekking gehad op gedragsprobleme. Die groepering het faktore ingesluit soos wangedrag in die klaskamer, minagting (disrespect-defiance), verwyte en beskuldigings, angs om te presteer, oorafhanklikheid van andere, ontoepaslike reaksies en n behoefte om toenadering by die onderwyser te soek. Analises van variansie is uitgevoer ten einde vas te stel of daar beduidende verskille tussen gemiddeldes bestaan. By sewe van die veertien faktore was daar geen betekenisvolle verskille tussen die geslagte, die verskillende grade van ondervinding en kontak met sielkundiges van die onderwysers in hulle waarneming oor die omvang van leer- en gedrags-probleme nie. In slegs enkele gevalle het die onderwysers se geslag, ondervinding, en kontak 'n beduidende invloed op hul waarnemings gehad. Kanoniese korrelasie is aangewend om die verband tussen onderwysers se besonderhede en elf DESB faktore te ondersoek. Sekere verband isbevestig tussen die genoemde besonderhede van die onderwysers en die elf DESB faktore. Die Anova tegniek is ook gebruik, ten einde die betekenis van die verskille in die rekenkundige gemiddeldes tussen diagnose, behandeling en bestuur, te toets. Ten opsigte van hul waarnemings, met betrekking tot die wyse van hantering van leer- en gedragsprobleme, verskil onderwysers nie van mekaar nie. Daar is egter betekenisvolle verskille in die onderwysers se waarnemings, wat betref die wyses van diagnose en behandeling van leer en gedragsprobleme. Verder kon die onderwysers se aanbevelings aangaande die hantering van leer- en gedragsprobleme in n eenvoudige rangordeformaat uitgebeeld word. Die bevindings van hierdie studie is in verband gebring met inligting soos uit die literatuuroorsig verkry en hierdie inligting is voorts geinterpreteer teen die agtergrond van die aard van die sielkundige dienste binne Swart skole in Suid-Afrika. Aanbevelings is gemaak vir die implementering van alternatiewe, met koste effektiewe en doeltreffende sielkundige dienste.

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