Parents' perspectives of their children's transition from a mainstream to s special school

Hyman, Claire Louise (2014-04)

Thesis (MEdPsych)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Education White Paper 6, implemented in 2001, completed a significant period of policy development and change after the end of Apartheid in South Africa. The change in South African educational policy and the schooling system has given rise to many changes in the governance of special schools; this has further influenced this study. Education White Paper 6 (2001) introduced a comprehensive range of educational support services; schools now include mainstream schools, full-service schools and special schools. These schools offer varying levels of support with the view to minimise barriers to learning. While this research was conducted in a private special school, the parents who participated had all transitioned their child from a mainstream school. This research study attempted to understand parents’ perspectives of transitioning their child from a mainstream school to a special school, focusing in particular on parents whose children were in the Senior Phase of their school career. Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological model was used as the theoretical framework for this study because of the overlapping systems that are interconnected and influence the participants’ lives and the lives of their children. For the research study, the parents were placed in the centre of the model; the other microsystems include the school, family and the child. This study made use of a qualitative case study design and a qualitative methodology which is rooted within an interpretive paradigm. Purposeful sampling was used to select the parents from the selected special school in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, as participants for the study. The study made use of three measures to collect data; a semi-structured interview, a life-line activity, as well as an open-ended questionnaire the parents were asked to complete at home. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data generated by means of the three data collection methods. The findings of this research paper suggest that the transient process at a later stage in the child’s academic career was a difficult experience for the parents who participated in the study. However, as the children gradually adjusted to the change, the parents felt the move had been worth it and had experienced a positive change in their children’s academic achievements. It should also be noted that the parents’ perspectives on special education were not based on the policy documents governing the South African school system and more parental education is needed regarding this area. While the findings of the study cannot be generalised to all schools in South Africa, from this research study recommendations could be made to the special school to assist in ensuring a smoother transition for both the parents and the learner.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Onderwyswitskrif 6 wat in 2001 geïmplementeer is het die periode van die beleidsverandering ná die beëindiging van apartheid in Suid-Afrika voltooi. Die verandering in die Suid-Afrikaanse opvoedkundige beleid en die skoolstelsel het aanleiding gegee tot baie veranderinge in die bestuur van spesiale skole, en dit het hierdie studie beïnvloed. Onderwyswitskrif 6 (2001) het 'n omvattende reeks van opvoedkundige ondersteuningsdienste voorgestel wat die volgende strukture insluit; hoofstroom-, voldiens- en spesiale skole. Hierdie skole bied verskillende vlakke van ondersteuning aan met die oog om die hindernisse tot leer te oorbrug. Die navorsing is vanuit 'n privaat spesiale skool gedoen. Die ouers wat deelnemers aan die navorsing was, het hulle kinders uit 'n hoofstroomskool gehaal en oorgeplaas na ‘n spesiale skool. Hierdie navorsingstudie het gepoog om ouers se perspektiewe te verstaan rakende die oorplasing van hulle kind vanuit ‘n hoofstroomskool na 'n spesiale skool, met spesifieke fokus op die ouers wie se kinders in die Senior Fase van hul skoolloopbaan was. Bronfenbrenner se bio-ekologiese model is as die teoretiese raamwerk vir hierdie studie gebruik in die lig van die klem op die oorvleuelende sisteme wat met mekaar verbind is en die invloed daarvan op die deelnemers se lewens en die lewens van hul kinders. Vir hierdie navorsingstudie is die ouers in die middel van die model geplaas, met die skool, gesin en die kind as verdere mikrosisteme. Hierdie studie het van 'n kwalitatiewe gevallestudie en 'n kwalitatiewe metodologie gebruik gemaak wat in 'n interpretatiewe paradigma gegrond is. Doelgerigte steekproefneming is gebruik om die ouers te kies uit die aangewese spesiale skool in die suidelike voorstede van Kaapstad, as deelnemers vir die studie. Die studie het gebruik gemaak van drie maatreëls om data in te samel: 'n semi-gestruktureerde onderhoud, 'n lewens-lyn aktiwiteit, en 'n oop vraelys wat die ouers tuis voltooi het. Kwalitatiewe inhoudsanalise is gebruik om die data wat gegenereer is deur middel van die drie data–insamelingsmetodes, te ontleed. Die bevindinge van hierdie navorsing suggereer dat die oorgangsperiode op 'n later stadium in die kind se akademiese loopbaan 'n moeilike ervaring vir die ouers, wat aan die studie deelgeneem het, was. Namate die kinders egter by hulle veranderde omstandighede aangepas het, het die ouers gevoel dat die skuif die moeite werd was en hulle het 'n positiewe verandering in hul kinders se akademiese prestasies opgemerk. Kennis moet ook daarvan geneem word dat die perspektief van die ouers op spesiale onderwys nie gebaseer was op die beleidsdokumente van die Suid-Afrikaanse skoolstelsel nie. Dit beklemtoon dat ouerontwikkeling ten opsigte van hierdie aspek noodsaaklik is. Die bevindinge van die studie kan wel nie na alle skole in Suid-Afrika veralgemeen word nie, maar daar kan vanuit hierdie navorsing aanbevelings gemaak word om spesiale skole by te staan ten einde die oorgang vir beide ouers en leerders makliker te maak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86319
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