A case study of integrated schooling within a co-educational high school in the Durban area.
Issues relating to racial integration in white schools in South Africa during the period 1976-1992 are explored within the South African (historical, social, political) context. The introduction by the state of alternative school models, and in particular the 'Model B' option, is studied with specific reference to its implementation in one high school. Using a generative research design, issues and concerns of participants are fleshed out, and form the basis of surveys and interview schedules administered to 103 students and 33 teachers within the school. Major themes that emerge from student and teacher responses include positive and negative views on racial mixing, and views on curriculum change and development. A major finding of this study is that there is broad support for racial integration within a range of assimilationist rather than integrationist assumptions. Accounts of racial mixing also reveal the pervasive influence of institutionalised apartheid. A further finding of this study is that the experience of racial mixing in this single institution does not necessarily lead to a greater understanding and acceptance of racial and cultural diversity. However, while the introduction of the 'Model B' option can be regarded at best as mildly reformist, it has provided a 'space' wherein racial tolerance and understanding can be enhanced, and has encouraged, to a limited extent, the breakdown of racial and cultural stereotypes. An important conclusion of this study is that schools should be pro-active in providing special programmes that foster cross-cultural understanding, tolerance, and empathy. Recommendations are made concerning academic and social programmes that might promote meaningful integration in moving students away from assimilationist notions that are paternalistic, proprietory, and patronising. While the findings of this case study cannot be generalised to include other schools, it is hoped that given similar circumstances shared by many schools, this study will assist these schools in addressing current issues relating to school integration.