Ondersteuning van leerders met gedragsprobleme in 'n kinder- en jeugsentrum
As stated in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005, learners with behavioural programmes are accommodated in child and youth centres (former industrial schools), and require professional and specialised support. These learners generally display challenging, unacceptable and anti-social behaviour, which must be addressed and handled by teachers and professional support staff. A holistic perspective is needed to meet these learners’ needs and in order to support learners with behavioural problems in child and youth centres, educational services, as well as medical, psychological and other support services must be available. These specialised support services are crucial in the efforts to address the behavioural problems of the learners. The aim of the support to learners with behavioural problems in child and youth centres is to improve the learning ability of the learners with behavioural problems, as well as to change their behavioural patterns in order for them to embrace opportunities in which they will be able to re-enter society successfully and live as well-adapted and functional individuals. Child and youth centres need to make interest groups aware of the challenges with which teachers and professional support staff are confronted on a daily basis in their efforts to support learners with behavioural problems. The aim of this study is to determine what the experiences are of the teachers and professional support staff with regard to the support to learners with behavioural problems in a child and youth centre. To reach the goal of this study, one research question was formulated: “What are the experiences of teachers and professional support staff with regard to the support of learners with behavioural problems in a child and youth centre?” A purposive sample was used, namely the teachers and professional support staff in a child and youth centre in the Ekurhuleni District, were chosen to participate in the research study. The teachers’ group includes the principal, the head of the department and teachers, while the professional support staff included an educational psychologist, a nurse, a social worker and a child and youth worker. The researcher used semi-structured individual interviews which were recorded with the consent of the participants. The recordings were transcribed, interpreted and refined to codes, themes, categories and subcategories. Ethical procedures were followed and approval of the Faculty of Educational Sciences’ Ethics Committee at the North-West University was obtained. Since qualitative studies, which investigates and describes the daily experiences of the teachers and professional support staff in supporting learners with behavioural problems in child and youth centres, are limited, a phenomenological approach, which included an interpretivist paradigm was used to investigate and describe the phenomenon. Meaningful factual conclusions related to the study’s findings, were identified, namely: learners with behavioural problems are provocative and several factors influence the support to the learners negatively; teachers and professional support staff experience uncertainty with regard to their respective responsibilities in the child and youth centre; verbal and physical attacks by the learners on the teachers and professional support staff; and lastly, positive experiences with regard to the support to the learners in a child and youth centre are few and far between. Conceptual findings are enlightened and supported by means of the radical behaviouristic theory, the cognitive social theory, the bio-ecological theory and the social capital theory. In conclusion of the phenomenological qualitative interpretivist study, the researcher offers valuable suggestions with regard to the support to learners with behavioural problems in a child and youth centre.
- Education