Title page for ETD etd-05102010-161421

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Nesamvuni, Priscilla Tshisikhawe
Email nesamvunipt@tut.ac.za
URN etd-05102010-161421
Document Title Communicative interactions in desegregated South African classrooms
Degree MEd
Department Curriculum Studies
Advisor Name Title
Prof S Vandeyar Supervisor
  • assimilation
  • desegregated classrooms
  • non-verbal communication
  • verbal communication
  • interaction
  • communication
  • colour-blindness
  • culture
  • integration
  • racism
Date 2010-04-13
Availability unrestricted

This research is based on a case study of a former all-white Afrikaans secondary school situated in Pretoria in the Gauteng province of South Africa. The aim of this case study was to investigate and report on the complex and dynamic communicative interactions that were apparent in the events, human relationships and other elements as they unfolded and revealed themselves in desegregated classrooms in this school.

I utilised an interpretive qualitative research design as my guiding methodology. This incorporated the use of semi-structured interviews, observation, video recordings, and narrative inquiry as sources of rich and layered data. My object of research was the patterns of communicative interaction that occurred between teachers and learners and between learners. My goal was to obtain a clear analytical view of the ways in which teachers and learners from diverse racial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds interacted with one another in the classroom. For this purpose I made use of multiple methods of data collection and included a variety of techniques that enabled me to triangulate the findings so as to ensure the credibility and trustworthiness of the empirical investigation.

An analysis of the findings revealed that the school in which the study was conducted was beset by challenges that created communication barriers between teachers and learners and between learners and learners. Such barriers to communication became evident in the use of language, in the school’s failure to accommodate cultural differences, in the dynamics of class participation, in the use of both verbal and nonverbal forms of communication and in the prevalence of racism. However, some of the teachers and learners were conscious of these challenges and attitudes and strove to create a non-racist environment in their school that would negate the effects of the racist paradigm wherever possible.

The study suggests that there is a need for the South African government to take the initiative to support all desegregated schools in various practical ways if the effects of racism are not to be passed onto the next generation of adults in our country.

Copyright © 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Nesamvuni, PT 2009, Communicative interactions in desegregated South African classrooms, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05102010-161421/ >

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