Exploring learner resilience to school violence in a township secondary school in Durban KwaZulu-Natal.
Kistnasamy, Bonita Adele.
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The purpose of this study was to explore learner resilience to school violence in a township secondary school in Chatsworth near Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Specifically, the study sought to describe the nature of school violence, identify and describe the internal characteristics of resilient school learners, determine the external factors that contribute to resilience of school learners, determine what skills resilient school learners in a township school use to cope with school violence, and develop a framework that fosters resilience among learners. A simultaneous mixed methods approach of both qualitative and quantitative study designs was adopted. The sample comprised of 52 Learners, 6 Educators, the principal, the Head of Department for Life Orientation (LOHOD) and 7 Learner Parents. The quantitative data collection component used the Resilience Scale for Middle-adolescents in a Township School (R-MATS) questionnaire, administered to the 52 learners, and the qualitative data collection component used face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions with 12 Learners, 6 Educators, the principal, the LOHOD and 7 Learner Parents. The main factors seen as constituting risk for township school learners were that a lot of violence was seen around the community, there were many stressors, and participants spoke of bad life experiences. Among external factors, school environment was found to be the most lacking for those learners who reported that they fought a lot at school. Results indicated a neglect of problem learners by teachers, or an inability to deal with their problems. Some of the coping skills mentioned were positive commitment towards learning, taking part in extramural activities such as sports and music, and having a positive attitude towards life. The study recommends a framework that combines both the invitational education framework and the resilience wheel framework into one framework named ‘Invitational Resiliency Framework’.