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TitleInclusive education in the South African context : analysing how cultural diversity is accommodated in five former model c schools in Bloemfontein
AuthorLiphapang, Maphoka Christina
SubjectCentral University of Technology, Free State - Dissertations
SubjectInclusive education - South Africa - Bloemfontein
SubjectMulticultural education - South Africa - Bloemfontein
SubjectEducational equalization - South Africa - Bloemfontein
SubjectSchool integration - South Africa - Bloemfontein
SubjectDissertations, academic - South Africa - Bloemfontein
Format4 958 115 bytes
AbstractThesis (Phd.) - Central University of Technology, Free State, 2008
AbstractThis study investigates whether five former Model C schools in Bloemfontein are inclusive of diverse cultures found among their learner population. In apartheid South Africa segregation on the basis of racial and cultural difference was policy. Therefore, post apartheid legislation and policies, coupled with the fact that inclusion is not always understood or welcomed where people are used to segregated systems necessitated this investigation. The study was qualitative in nature and Buskens-Meulenberg’s Free Attitude Interview (FAI) was used as a main source of data collection. Principals of the five former Model C schools that formed part of this study and three university students who are former Model C schools learners were interviewed using open ended questions. It was important to employ the Free Attitude Interview because it meant the interviewees were free to talk about anything they felt like, as long as it was within the framework of the starting question. Secondly, it allowed for reflection on the dominant discourse and also gave a voice to the dominated discourse. To arrive at the findings data was analyzed and interpreted using Fairclough’s Textual Oriented Discourse Analysis (TODA). This method of analysis allowed the researcher to look not only at the text of the interviews but also at their discursive practices. The following findings emerged from the data analysis. The general finding from the data collected from both the principals and students was that these schools expected learners from diverse cultural backgrounds to adapt to the existing ‘school culture’ which is white middle class. The curriculum delivery, staff provisioning, and everything within the schools was found to reflect ‘white middle class culture’. The interviews from both the principals and students indicated that instead of being inclusive of all learners these schools go out of their way to assimilate children from other cultures especially black children. While this is the case it is also clear that the two groups of respondents view this differently. To the white school principals this is an accepted and normal way consciously encouraged and promoted. On the other hand this is a sore point to the black students which led them to feel that they did not belong in these schools and left them with feelings of alienation. I therefore argue that in spite of the rhetoric endorsing equity, redress, justice and respect for difference including cultural diversity, little has changed in terms of educational outcomes. Young black children who go to these former Model C schools still face exclusionary practices despite the fact that these schools have been open to all racial groups and they are physically there. While I have taken care not to generalize from the findings, – since this was never the intention of the study - I nevertheless drew the conclusion that these schools are actually not inclusive of learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. Adhering to the ‘ethos’ of the school and thereby maintaining the status quo seems to be the main objective of the schools (principals). In-fact black learners in these schools continue to experience exclusion and explicit racism. The study concludes that power structures in these schools – management and governance -, curriculum and the way it is delivered and all other activities within the school are used to reinforce domination of the learners from cultural backgrounds other than that of the school. From the findings the study recommend that for these schools to be truly inclusive of learners from diverse cultural backgrounds the Department of Education should take a leading role in ensuring that transformation takes place in these schools and they become inclusive of all learners. For this nation to be a true rainbow nation the Department of Education should not leave the transformation of these schools to the School Management Teams and Governing Bodies. Recommendations on what schools themselves can do to ensure that they accommodate, acknowledge and reflect cultural diversity and as such are inclusive of all learners are also given. Furthermore suggestions for relevant future research, based on the findings are made.
PublisherBloemfontein : Central University of Technology, Free State