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 Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Dr K Mohangi Co-Supervisor Prof L Ebersohn Co-Supervisor Dr R Ferreira Supervisor Keywords
- psycho-social support
- school-based support
- STAR intervention
- participatory reflection and action
Date 2011-04-11 Availability unrestricted Abstract
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
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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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