Exploring parental support for disengaging primary school students

Witbooi, Lene Jade (2019-12)

Thesis (MEdPsych)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Disengagement is multidimensional and has negative implications for academic success. Students that are disengaging may display behaviour that includes a lack of participation in class and school activities, not becoming cognitively involved in learning, not developing or maintaining a sense of school belonging, and/or exhibiting counterproductive behaviour (Finn & Zimmer, 2012). One of the most effective ways to enhance the educational achievement of students is to engage their parents in their education; this has been one of the strongest trends in education reform (Lemmer, 2007). The aim of this research was therefore to explore parental support for disengaging primary school students attending a primary school situated within a rural, low socio-economic area. To accomplish this, the researcher used a qualitative instrumental case study that is embedded within the interpretive paradigm. Participants were purposively selected and invited to participate in the study after which six parent participants willingly participated. Semi-structured interviews were used as the primary method of data collection. The researcher’s reflexive notes, the literature review, analysis of artefacts and an inductive process of qualitative thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data. The results showed that for the parents, providing parental support for disengaging students within a low socio-economic background is not easy. They face contextual barriers caused by poverty such as limited skills and knowledge; socio-economic difficulties such as inadequate housing, limited resources, unemployment and alcohol and drug use, all of whichleads to low levels of self-efficacy. The parents understood support in terms of being emotionally present and engaging in encouraging conversations with their children. The parents are aware of the challenges their children face, and the possible causes of these challenges, but they entrusted ‘professionals’ to obtain support for their children or guide them in how they can utilise the support. The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) should thus place more attention on how to support these parents, especially within low socio-economic backgrounds, that do not know how to utilise the resources around them.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Distansie teenoor die skool is multidimensioneel en het negatiewe implikasies vir akademiese sukses omdat leerders wat onbetrokke voorkom gedrag mag toon wat insluit `n gebrek aan klaskamer deelname en skool aktiwiteite, nie kognitief betrokke te raak by leer nie, nie `n gevoel van behoort ontwikkel teenoor die skool nie en om teenproduktiewe gedrag te hê (Finn & Zimmer, 2012). Een van die mees effektiewe maniere om skolastiese sukses te bevorder is om ouers in die skool opvoeding van hul kinders te betrek, wat een van die sterkste tendense in onderwyshervorming is (Lemmer, 2007). Die doel van hierdie navorsing was dus om ouer ondersteuning vir hul laerskool kind wat gedistansieerd teenoor die skool voorkom, in a lae sosio-ekonomiese gebied, te ondersoek. Om dit te bereik, het die navorser gebruik gemaak van `n kwalitatiewe instrumentele gevallestudie, ingebed in `n interpretatiewe paradigma. Deelnemers was doelgerig geselekteer en uitgenooi om deel te neem aan die studie, waarvolgens ses ouer deelnemers vrymoediglik ingestem het om deel te neem aan die studie. Semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude was die primêre bron van data-insameling, tesame met die navorser se refleksiewe notas, die literatuuroorsig en ontleding van artefakte en `n induktiewe proses van kwalitatiewe tematiese inhoudsanalise. The resultate het getoon dat dit nie altyd maklik is vir die deelnemers met `n lae sosio-ekonomiese agtergrond om ouer ondersteuning vir hul gedistansieerde kinders te gee nie. As gevolg van armoede het hierdie ouers verskeie kontekstuele hindernisse soos beperkte vaardighede en kennis, sosio-ekonomiese uitdagings soos onvoldoende behuising, beperkte hulpbronne, werkloosheid en alkohol en dwelm gebruik, wat op sy beurt lei na lae vlakke van selfdoeltreffendheid. Die ouers het gevolglik ouer ondersteuning verstaan in terme van emosionele teenwoordigheid om bemoedigende gesprekke met hul kinders te voer. Die ouers was bewus van die uitdagings wat hul kinders het, maar het die ‘professionele mense’ toevertrou om ondersteuning vir die kinders te kry of om vir hulle te lei om hierdie ondersteuning vir hulle kinders te kan bekom. Die Wes-Kaapse Onderwys Departement (WKOD) moet dus meer fokus op hoe om ouers te ondersteun, veral in `n lae sosio-ekonomiese agtergrond, wat nie kennis dra oor hoe om verskillende ondersteuningsnetwerke te benader nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107243
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