Title page for ETD etd-10072010-115253

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Mampane, Motlalepule Ruth
Email ruth.mampane@up.ac.za
URN etd-10072010-115253
Document Title The relationship between resilience and school : a case study of middle-adolescents in township schools
Degree PhD
Department Educational Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Prof A C Bouwer Supervisor
  • risk factors
  • protective factors
  • township
  • township school
  • resilience
  • less-relilience
  • bioecological
Date 2010-04-29
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of the study was to explore and describe the relationship between resilient and less-resilient middle-adolescent learners and their township school context.

This research was guided by Bioecological theory and the Resiliency Wheel programme to understand resilience as manifested in the proximal processes within the microsystems of the school and the family. The degree of resilience of learners was observed in behaviour and development outcomes inferred from personal characteristics and adverse family conditions demonstrated in the person, proximal processes, context and time.

The study sequentially employed a mixed method approach of quantitative and qualitative research. In Phase 1, the construct ‘resilience’ was operationalised and defined in a Resilience Scale for Middle-adolescents in a Township School (R-MATS). The questionnaire was validated on 291 middle-adolescent learners in two township schools. In Phase 2, an Interactive Qualitative Analysis (IQA) was performed. Focus groups were conducted with 16 middle-adolescents in the two schools.

In answer to the main research question, ‘How does the school influence the resilience of middle-adolescent learners in a black-only township school?’, it was found that the school environment can influence the resilience of middle-adolescent learners in township schools by providing or failing to provide a supportive teaching and learning environment with effective implementation of rules and educational policies, that provide for care and safety of its learners and ensure they realise their future goals.

In answer to the sub-question, ‘What are middle-adolescent resilient learners’ experiences of their black-only township school system?’ it was found that the resilient middle-adolescent learners acknowledged the contribution of their school to their resilience and development.

The learners were aware of the school policies and engaged with them to benefit from their schooling, but were critical of their school if they perceived a lack of provision and support by the school.

In answer to the second sub-question, ‘What are middle-adolescent less-resilient learners’ experiences of their black-only township school system?’ it was found that the less-resilient learners experienced their school environment as less supportive. They struggled to access school resources and experienced the school as an environment where they could use their personalities to grow and develop, or just exist.

Overall, it was found that township schools do have resources for their learners to use, but implementation of policy and the accessibility of resources are problems to less-resilient learners who struggle within their proximal processes in their school microsystem.

Middleadolescent learners appreciate and require clearly defined rules, structure and consistent implementation to ensure a stable, supportive and caring learning and teaching environment to grant them opportunities for realising their future goals.

Copyright 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:

Mampane, MR 2010, The relationship between resilience and school : a case study of middle-adolescents in township schools, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10072010-115253 / >


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