Exploring the experiences and coping strategies of mainstream teachers of adolescents with behavioural difficulties in Potchefstroom
Masedi, Puleng Agatha
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Historically, research on behavioural difficulties in the school context has primarily focused on the descriptions, causes and innovative interventions to deal with behavioural difficulties displayed by learners. In the current study, the lived experiences of teachers of adolescents with behavioural difficulties in Potchefstroom, North West Province were examined. A phenomenological research design was used in conducting the study, while a qualitative research approach was used to obtain rich and detailed data from participants. Stratified and purposive sampling was used to strategically select the sample from a large quantity. Three female and five male participants were selected through stratified and purposive sampling. A focus group interview was used to collect data, which was analysed according to emerging themes. The findings of the study revealed five themes as follows: teachers' experiences around the school; experiences with the education system; motivators of behavioural traits among adolescents; psychological well-being of teachers; and coping strategies of teachers. It is, therefore, concluded that teachers experience a major challenge regarding adolescents with behavioural difficulties. Teachers are not provided with sufficient training and support to effectively deal with adolescents with behavioural difficulties. Teachers struggle to maintain discipline in classrooms, thus resulting in impairments in social and occupational functioning. The results also revealed that teachers experience poor psychological well-being. Teachers coping strategies seem to be influenced by the teacher's age and years of experience as revealed in this study. It is therefore recommended that research and psychological interventions should be geared towards improving coping skills and well-being of teachers.
- Theology