|dc.description.abstract||The present study explored the attitudes and the expectations that educators have towards
learners who are deprived by poverty. The influence of the educators' race and gender on
these attitudes and expectations was explored as well as the relationship between indigent
learners and their educators.
The challenges that face educators on a daily basis, make teaching a particularly
daunting task. In addition educators have the complex task of teaching learners who
come from a diverse range of home backgrounds. These stressors combine to create a
complicated learning environment. The interplay between home environmental risk
factors, teacher support and learner achievement and performance is of utmost
importance for eventual school success and a positive self-perception for the learner.
This study was conducted by using a survey questionnaire which was completed by 53
educators (Indian and African), and semi-structured interviews with 12 indigent learners.
The researcher was able to determine the emergent attitudes and expectations of
educators according to the educator's race and gender. Semi-structured interviews were
conducted with 12 indigent learners to determine their relationship with their teachers and
their self-perceptions. The responses to the interviews were qualitatively analysed.
The findings of this study have indicated that generally, educators have positive attitudes
towards indigent learners. They are supportive of these learners and try, in most
instances, to plan lessons in a manner that would benefit the disadvantaged learner. With
regard to race and gender, African male educators were the highest number that perceived
indigent learners negatively, while African female educators appear to be the most
sympathetic and held the least negative views on indigent learners. Results also indicated
that the majority of educators had formed pre-conceived expectations about learner's
abilities based on variables such as the home background, knowledge of siblings
performances in school, dress and speech. Although African male educators had the most
negative attitudes towards indigent learners, they (African male educators) also held the highest expectations of indigent learners as compared to Indian female educators who
held the lowest expectations. This means that African male educators believe that
indigent learners have the potential and perform relatively well in the classroom despite
their poverty status.
The results of the semi-structured interviews, which were qualitatively analysed,
indicated that generally, the indigent learners who were interviewed, were happy at
school, had friends and enjoyed a good relationship with their teachers. These learners
appeared to always try hard with their schoolwork and held high career aspirations. Based
on these findings, it appears that generally, the indigent learners who were interviewed
had positive self-esteem based on positive relationships with their educators.
The findings of this research were discussed in relation to previous findings from
international literature. The study was concluded with recommendations to educators on
monitoring and controlling expectance effects and bias on the achievement and social
behaviour of learners.||en_US