An interpretive study of high school dropouts in the context of a former disadvantaged community

Snyders, Jacoba Sylvia (2013-12)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to understand and to interpret the complex array of factors that contribute to the phenomenon of learners dropping out of school. This investigation highlights the phenomenon of high school dropouts in particular. Whilst I am not entirely comfortable with the term “dropout”, I have decided to use it based on its use in a report of the Ministerial Committee on Learner Retention in the South African Schooling System that was published in October 2007. This report provides various understandings of the term, and I use the term with reference to said report. The research methodology for the study is interpretive analysis, and the purpose thereof is to provide “thick description”, which means a thorough description of the characteristics, processes, transactions, and contexts that constitute the phenomenon being studied. The analysis is couched in a language not alien to the phenomenon, and takes into account the researcher’s role in constructing the description. The research data have identified a number of factors within families, within schools, and within communities that affect whether learners are likely to drop out, or to graduate, from high school. These are: poverty, almost all the parents of the participants were school dropouts themselves (did not complete their schooling), teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, the lack of home and school stability, social behaviour, rebellion, peer pressure, and a sense of caring.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van die studie was om die legio faktore wat bydrae tot die verskynsel van leerders wat by skole uitval te verstaan en te intrepreteer. Hierdie ondersoek lê veral klem op die hoë uitvalsyfer van hoërskoolleerders. Hoewel ek nie gemaklik voel met die term “drop out” of uitval nie, het ek besluit om die term te gebruik aangesien die woord “drop out” gebaseer is op 'n Ministeriële Komitee verslag oor die behoud van leerders in die Suid Afrikaanse Skoolstelsel, wat in Oktober 2007 gepubliseer is. Die verslag dui op verskillende interpretasies van diè term, en ek gebruik diè term met verwysing na diè verslag. Die navorsingsmetodologie vir die studie is interprevistiese analise, en die doel daarvan is om 'n uitgebreide beskrywing te verskaf, waarmee bedoel word 'n deeglike beskrywing van die eienskappe, prosesse, ooreenkomste en die konteks wat die verskynsel verteenwoordig. Die analise word aangebied in 'n taal wat nie vreemd is tot die verskynsel nie, en poog ook om die navorser se rol in die konstruksie en samestelling van die beskrywing uit te beeld. Die navorsingsbevindinge het menige faktore binne families, binne skole en binne gemeenskappe geïdentifiseer wat leerders affekteer wat waarskynlik sou uitval of verhoed om hul hoërskoolloopbaan te voltooi. Dit is: armoede, ouers wat self skool vroeg verlaat het (“drop out”), tienerswangerskappe, dwelmmisbruik, gebrek aan huislike en skool stabiliteit, sosiale gedrag, rebelsheid, groepsdruk en omgee.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/95477
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