Title page for ETD etd-05172011-115541

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Adebanji, Charles Adedayo
Email dadebanji2005@gmail.com
URN etd-05172011-115541
Document Title Educational and socio-cultural challenges of immigrant students in a South African school
Degree MEd
Department Curriculum and Instructional Design and Development
Advisor Name Title
Prof S Vandeyar Supervisor
  • identity
  • discrimination
  • racism
  • socio-cultural experiences
  • schooling experiences
  • immigrant
  • acculturative stress
  • academic performance
  • acculturation
  • educational experience
Date 2011-04-04
Availability unrestricted

This research set out to explore the educational and socio-cultural experiences of DRC immigrant students in South African schools. Utilising a qualitative case study approach, the study attempted to provide a glimpse of the lived experiences of DRC immigrant students inside South African schools by exploring the following aspects: (1) academic performance, (2) schooling experiences, (3) linguistic disposition, (4) acculturation experiences and (5) how the students constructed their identities within South African society. The theoretical framework applied to this study was threefold in nature, namely Cultural Ecological Theory, Culture-Centred Theory and Critical Race Theory. The Major findings emanating from this study were: First, Cultural Ecological Theory could not explain the low academic performance of DRC immigrant students. Second, DRC immigrant students experienced acts of prejudice, isolation, linguistic adjustment incapability and xenophobic attacks. Third, acts of racism were prevalent at the school because teachers who taught them brought in African languages to explain lessons in class to indigenous students at their expense. Fourth, they were confronted by disrespectful modes of behaviour emanating from indigenous students to teachers. Fifth, the opportunity they had at the school, in terms of having access to education without being able to pay tuition fees, likely became their source of low academic achievement. The school had rapid turnover of teachers because the school governing body could not afford to pay additional teachers. Sixth, the students were exposed to uncommon modes of behaviour originating from indigenous students, in terms of gambling and smoking at the school. Seventh, they were exposed to display of weapons by indigenous students. Eight, the incorporation of culture into their academic work at school seemed to enhance their focus on learning. Ninth, they could not commence acculturation and identity negotiation in mainstream culture.

2010, 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:

Adebanji, CA 2010, Educational and socio-cultural challenges of immigrant students in a South African school, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05172011-115541/ >


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