Browsing by Author "Jacobs, Carmelita"
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- ItemAdolescent identity formation in the context of vocationally oriented special needs schools(Education Association of South Africa, 2017) Jacobs, Carmelita; Collair, LynetteAdolescence is a phase that is associated with important identity-relevant issues. Shaping a clear sense of identity is an important step in developing a healthy psychosocial disposition, and the school is an important context where this can happen. In this article, we explore how adolescents who had attended a special needs school of skills in the Western Cape, South Africa, perceived the role that their school experiences played in shaping their sense of identity. These were learners who entered the school of skills with a poor sense of self, due to years of academic difficulties and exclusion in mainstream primary schools. Using a qualitative research design, data was collected through interviews, and analysed by means of the inductive process of thematic content analysis. The findings showed that participants’ school experiences shaped their sense of identity in a more positive way. The participants’ narratives speak to the complexity in the individual, the school and the community in contributing to a sense of identity with both positive and negative aspects. Though the participants experienced a sense of belonging and felt accepted by their teachers and peers, the school did not deliver on its implicit promise of a job-related skill, and this in turn negatively affected their thinking about future life paths and careers, which is important for identity formation.
- ItemExploring identity formation in adolescents who attended a school of skills(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2014-04) Jacobs, Carmelita; Collair, Lynette; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Psychology.; Mack, CarmelitaENGLISH ABSTRACT: Identity formation is a multifaceted process that has implications for how one feels about oneself and the decisions one makes about one's future. Developmental theorists have therefore become increasingly interested in the impact of contextual factors on the development of identity formation, especially the school context. The aim of this research was to explore how adolescents who have attended a school of skills perceive their identity. In order to do this, this research made use of a basic qualitative research design that is embedded within the interpretive paradigm. Participants were purposively selected and invited to take part in the study, after which four participants and their parents willingly participated. Interviews were used as the primary method of data collection along with the researcher's reflexive notes and an inductive process of qualitative thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data. The results revealed variability in responses, as individuals made meaning according to their own construction of past experiences within and outside the school context. The study showed that the participants entered the school of skills with a poor sense of self due to the lack of support and guidance and the effects of being labelled and excluded in the mainstream primary school. The results further indicate that schools of skills face severe negative public evaluation, which had a negative impact on how the participants felt about being referred to and having to attend a school of skills. However, most of the participants felt that their attendance at a school of skills had shaped their sense of identity in a positive way, as public forms of evaluation were mitigated by significant relations with teachers and a sense of belonging among their peers. Finally, although the participants feel more positive about themselves, they are concerned about their future vocational opportunities, as they feel that the school has not offered a contribution for a viable identity. The findings of this study will inform counsellors, school personnel and parents regarding identity-related issues in the school context.
- ItemParental educational support for adolescence in single-mother families of a low-income community(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2019-12) Jacobs, Carmelita; Daniels, Doria; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Educational Psychology.ENGLISH SUMMARY : This dissertation explores the stories of educational support within single-mother families from a low socio-economic community in the Western Cape of South Africa. Research on singlemother families tends to adopt a deficit perspective about parent support (Aragon, 2018; Baquendano-Lopez et al., 2013; Koh, Stauss, Coustaut & Forrest, 2017) and single mothers have been described as uninvolved parents (Hampden-Thompson, 2009; Knowles & Holmström, 2013; Murry & Brody, 1999; Musick & Meier, 2010). Being raised in a lowincome single-mother family is often presumed to be an educational disadvantage for children (Gagnon, 2016, 2018; Hampden-Thompson, 2009; Hampden-Thompson & Galindo, 2015). Furthermore, research has focused on parent support for children in the earlier grades, and often overlooked parent support for later developmental stages of children’s lives. This study aimed to deepen understanding of adolescent experiences of educational support and to apply a lens that would highlight the often misrecognised informal and non-traditional forms of support within single-mother families. To explore this topic, the study adopted a critical framework informed by feminist theory, the bio-ecological model, Bourdieu’s theory of capital, Yosso’s theory of community cultural wealth, and emotional capital. For the study, six families were purposively selected in accordance with the following profile: (a) the family unit had to be headed by a single mother; (b) the family unit had to contain an adolescent between the ages of 14 and 18; (c) the adolescent had to be enrolled in a high school; and (d) the adolescent had to have been raised by a single mother for most of his/ her life. This study adopted a social constructivist paradigm and used a multiple case study design. As part of the methods of data collection, the adolescent and single mother participants partook in qualitative, semi-structured interviews and the adolescents partook in a focus group discussion after all of the interviews were completed. The data were analysed through thematic content analysis. The findings revealed that the single-mother families in this study faced significant challenges, however the mothers acted as encouraging, stabilising pillars that created supportive conditions for their children to be resilient and to stay committed to their education. Adolescents navigated many challenges such as poverty, longing for a father who cares and shows interest, unsafe living conditions, and limited educational resources and physical space in their homes. However, they perceived their mothers as supportive and maintained positive hopes and dreams for their futures. The findings show that the mothers supported their children in informal, yet valuable ways. These include: the mothers used their own stories to build aspirational capital; they fostered positive relationships with their children; they were resourceful and willing to make sacrifices; they reported that they encouraged their children daily; they used spirituality as a form of support; they accessed social and familial capital; and they made attempts to engage with their children’s schools. The findings therefore contribute to existing literature by centralising the single-mother family as a legitimate family unit and acknowledging that an absent father is not indicative of an absence of other valuable forms of support.