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Teachers’ perceptions of effective teaching and learning in poor primary schools in the uMgungundlovu district.

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Date

2023

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Abstract

All South African children have a right to access teaching and learning with equal educational opportunities and adequate teaching and learning resources. As much as all children have this right, a number of rural schools are faced with challenges as rural schools are characterized with inequalities and inequities in relation to teaching and learning resources. This study examines teacher perceptions of effective teaching and learning in poor rural schools in two schools in the uMgungundlovu District. The focus of this study was to explore and understand teachers’ perceptions of the factors that influence effective teaching and learning in their schools as well as the ways in which they negotiate the barriers to effective teaching and learning. It seeks to construct an understanding of effective teaching and learning in poor rural primary schools in relation to Sens’s (1999) Capability Approach (cited in Rajapakse, 2016). Sen’s (1999) Capability Approach was used as a framework for understanding. Working within the critical paradigm, this study aimed to understand, interrogate and critique issues of oppression and inequality in the schooling system. The case study research style was used as the study aimed to gain in-depth understating of teacher perceptions of effective teaching and learning in poor primary schools. Purposive sampling was used in two state primary schools in the uMgungundlovu district. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews with five teachers teaching in the two schools which were the research sites. These teachers were interviewed individually. Using this data collection method allowed the researcher to generate rich data in relation to participants’ understanding of effective teaching and learning drawing on their experiences of teaching in poor rural schools. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data as the study collected qualitative data in the form of words. Findings of this study suggest that rural schools are still characterised with inequalities and inequities in relation to resources, teacher shortages leading to ineffective teaching and learning and poor education outcomes. Teachers in rural schools are faced with a number of challenges which hinder them to produce effective teaching and learning. As much as they are faced with these challenges, they try their best to negotiate these challenges and strive to produce effective teaching and learning. To help teachers in poor rural schools be able to provide effective teaching and learning, they need to be provided with the support and resources they need. They also have to be constantly trained and motivated. When they have this support and motivation, they will become effective teachers who will be able to motivate and engage all learners in their teaching effectively, helping them to reach their full potential.

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Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.

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