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Teachers' experiences with overcrowded classrooms in a mainstream school.

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The focus of this study is to explore teachers’ experiences with overcrowded classrooms in a mainstream school. The study was conducted in one mainstream school in the Durban South area. The study adopts a qualitative research approach in which a case study design was adopted. The data generation process was obtained through unstructured questionnaires and observations with teachers. The overall findings of the research show that teachers’ experiences with overcrowded classrooms are ‘stressful’. Teachers themselves identified certain conditions that are stressful in an overcrowded classroom. These conditions were inadequate classroom space, issues related to safety and health, minimal learner and teacher interaction, disruptive behaviours, teachers experienced emotional and psychological problems, increased workload and inadequate teaching time. The findings of the research also show the contributing factors to stressful experiences. These factors included lack of support from management, policy implementation, teacher training and professional development and lack of resources. The findings also showed that teachers tap into, mobilise and map out individual resources in order to manage overcrowded classrooms.


M. Ed. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2015.


Class size--South Africa., Public schools--Overcrowding--South Africa., Classroom management--South Africa., Classroom utilization--South Africa., Learnin --Physiological aspects., Theses--Education.