The phenomenon of resilience among adolescents with learning difficulties in the Vaal Triangle area
Palmer, Jolene Maeve
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The purpose of this study was to document, by means of a literature review and empirical research, the phenomenon of resilience among adolescents with learning difficulties (LD). My study was motivated by a gap in current literature. Although there are some South African studies that explore the personal antecedents of resilience in youth with LD, there were almost no studies explaining what interpersonal antecedents might contribute to resilience. The aim of the empirical study was to investigate the phenomenon of resilience among adolescent learners coping with LD. This was done by conducting phenomenological research with ten learners who have LD and attend a school for learners with special learning needs. The findings of the study are in accordance with previous studies that suggest that resilience is encouraged by dynamic processes that are both interpersonal and intrapersonal. This study makes a contribution to theory in that it suggests that resilience among adolescent learners with LD is also encouraged by their home environment and the positive relationship with siblings that might be brought on by parents treating all their children impartially. This has not been noted in previous studies. This study also raises questions about whether inclusion of all learners in mainstream schools are beneficial to learners with LD. Because my study identified interpersonal processes (unconditional acceptance, safe spaces, championship and pedagogical expertise) that promoted resilience among those participants who took part in my study, my study contributes to what was understood about the process of resilience in learners with LD and in so doing contributes to practice in that guidelines could be drafted for Life Orientation teachers based on the findings of this study. These guidelines can enable dedicated teachers to adapt their classroom environment so that a learner with LD can benefit.
- ETD@Vaal Triangle Campus