Title page for ETD etd-06082011-154102

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Bagherpour, Samiramis
URN etd-06082011-154102
Document Title Sustainability of psycho-social support by teachers to enhance resilience in a school
Degree MEd
Department Educational Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Dr K Mohangi Co-Supervisor
Prof L Ebersohn Co-Supervisor
Dr R Ferreira Supervisor
  • psycho-social support
  • resilience
  • school-based support
  • sustainability
  • STAR intervention
  • participatory reflection and action
  • teachers
Date 2011-04-11
Availability unrestricted

The purpose of this study was to report on the sustainability of school-based psycho-social support projects that have been initiated in a school in the Eastern Cape. More specifically, the study explored how insights into sustainable psycho-social support by teachers might inform knowledge on resilience in schools. The study forms part of the broad STAR (Supportive Teachers, Assets and Resilience) research project that has been ongoing since 2003.

The current study utilised Interpretivism as metatheory and Participatory Reflection and Action (PRA) as methodological paradigm. A case study design was selected, with eight purposefully selected primary school teachers as participants, who have been involved in the STAR project since 2003. Two field visits were undertaken for data collection purposes. The participants took part in two PRA-based workshops, with the second workshop taking the form of a member checking session. In addition to the PRA-based workshops, I relied on observations, field notes, photographs, audio-recordings and a research diary as data collection and documentation strategies.

Subsequent to thematic data analysis four main themes emerged. Firstly the importance of teamwork in sustaining psycho-social support initiatives was identified, with the various roles and responsibilities within the team, and school management acting as a silent partner emerging as sub-themes. Secondly, participants highlighted collaboration (with the University of Pretoria, community and other schools) as underlying reasons for sustaining support efforts. Thirdly, participants regarded acknowledgement by others as motivating factors, with reference to acknowledgement on multiple levels and acknowledgement resulting in self-confidence as sub-themes. Finally, participants focused on teacher identity as the determining factor for sustaining psycho-social support initiatives, referring to being in a caring profession, putting children first, being change agents in the community and being committed and dedicated.

Based on the findings of the study, I can conclude that sustaining psycho-social support seemed to establish the school as a protective resource to promote resilience. The acknowledgement of teachers’ abilities and capabilities similarly had a positive effect on teachers’ identification and mobilisation of assets and resources in collaboration with community partners, which in turn positively impacted teachers’ confidence.

Additional information available on a CD stored at the Merensky Library on Level 3

© 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:

Bagherpour, S 2010, Sustainability of psycho-social support by teachers to enhance resilience in a school, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06082011-154102/ >


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