A strategy to manage diversity in secondary schools
Van Vuuren, Hermanus Jacobus
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The purpose of the research focuses on the development of a strategy for the management of diversity in secondary schools of the North West Province. The nature of diversity is explained from an ontological point of departure as the multiplicity of things with distinctive characteristics and qualities. A structure analysis of diversity emphasises a balanced perspective in which the interdependence and mutual coherence of all aspects of diversity are acknowledged in all spheres of life. An analysis of the different perspectives concerning multicultural education as an approach to deal with diversity leads to the identification of a limited focus on culture related concerns that fail to account for diversity in totality. Culture related concerns are not regarded as an exclusive constituent of a complex phenomenon like diversity and a more inclusive approach of diversity in education is recommended. A mixed methods research design is chosen for this research to provide a purposeful research framework in which quantitative and qualitative methods are combined to meet the demands of a sophisticated research problem. Findings of the research include inter alia the principles of respect and caring that are in relation to the concept of Ubuntu with a focus on humaneness and the affirmation of unity in diversity. Another finding of relevance is that a diversity strategy involves a clear rationale and policy framework for a process consisting of phases, objectives, action steps and persons involved. It is recommended that a diversity strategy must be tailor-made according to situation-specific needs and the unique manifestation of diversity. The contribution of this research is seen as a clarification of the concept of diversity and the development of a generic strategy for the management of diversity.
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