Children's positive adjustment to first grade in risk-filled communities: a case study of the role of school ecologies in South Africa and Finland
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This article presents a comparative case study on the ways in which children's school ecologies facilitate their adjusting positively to first grade in risk-filled contexts in South Africa and Finland. The insights of two children (one South African, one Finnish) from socio-economically disadvantaged communities, their teachers, parents and significant others constitute the data corpus of this study. The data were collected via semi-structured interviews, 'Day-in-the-Life' video-recorded observations, and Draw-and-talk and photo elicitation methods. The data were analysed deductively using the seven, commonly recurring mechanisms of resilience as documented by Ungar (2015). The results demonstrate how resilience processes are co-constructed and gain their meaning within the given social ecology of a child. They underscore the importance of school ecologies being functional enough, in the face of socio-economic adversity, to continue to facilitate everyday resilience-supporting processes for children. The article ends by considering the lessons of this study for school psychologists.
- Faculty of Humanities