The dynamics of psycho–social well–being in Afri Twin schools
This study, presented in the format of three articles, contributed to the measuring of psycho-social well-being in Afri Twin schools. The literature points to a serious lack of studies measuring the psychosocial well-being of teachers and possible interventions to alleviate their challenges. The context of the study is the Afri Twin project. The Afri Twin project is a collaboration between a British school, a South African town/city school, and/or a school from a township or rural community in South Africa. The intention of Afri Twin is to create camaraderie between school principals, teachers and learners/students in South African and British schools. As the relationships between the different schools develop, schools will have the opportunity to visit one another, exchange experiences and teaching ideas, and gain first-hand experience of the different conditions in which the individual schools function. The first article determined the psychometric properties of the Adapted and Revised Organisational Climate Description Questionnaire (AAROCDQ), and was validated for school climate as experienced by teachers. Participants were 394 school teachers (72 male and 322 female) from 40 schools in South Africa. The AAROCDQ correlated positively with other measures of optimal functioning (The Mental Health Continuum - Short Form MHCSF], the Coping Self-Efficacy Scale [CSE], and the Core Self-Evaluations Scale [CSES]). The internal consistency and factor structure were determined as well as the evidence for concurrent validity. The results of the study indicated that the AAROCDQ was reliable and also indicated construct validity in a sample of South African teachers. It was concluded that further validation and standardisation of the AAROCDQ could be done in mixed method studies as well as that future studies could further analyse the scale on item level to give a more coherent perspective on the psychosocial well-being of teachers. The second article explored the prevalence of well-being in Afri Twin and non Afri Twin teachers. A quantitative survey design was implemented and the sample consisted of 97 Afri Twin teachers (20 male and 77 female) and 297 non Afri Twin teachers (52 male and 245 female) from 40 South African schools (13 Afri Twin and 27 non Afri Twin). The MHC-SF, the CSE and CSES were used to determine the well-being of teachers. The results indicated a moderate to high level of well-being, with an almost significant difference in social well-being and core self-evaluations between Afri Twin and non Afri Twin teachers. It was concluded that the social context of the 'twinning' process in Afri Twin schools could influence the social well-being of teachers positively. The aim of the third article was two-fold. Firstly principals', teachers' and learners' experiences of the Afri Twin project were investigated, and secondly the aim was to develop an intervention for resilience in schools participating in the Afri Twin project. The sample consisted of 158 teachers (42 male and 116 female), 14 school principals (10 male and 4 female), and 65 learners (34 boys and 31 girls). The results indicated that leadership, school climate (culture), the people that are involved, and promoting optimism and self-efficacy through support and sharing are essential for the development or improvement of resilience in schools through the Afri Twin project. The main conclusion from this thesis is that teachers' experience of the school as an environment in which they work is influenced by such factors as social support and sharing that can influence the psychological well-being (specifically social well-being) of the educators. This is indicated by the correlation between the findings in article 3 which support the findings in article 2. The benefits from being involved with a project like the Afri Twin could also influence the resilience of the educators and learners/students.
- Health Sciences