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Grade 10 male students' experiences of school disengagement.

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This study explores the experiences of grade 10 boys towards school and, in particular, towards the phenomenon of school disengagement. The reason for pursuing research of this nature was due to the scarcity of literature available on the phenomenon of disengagement, particularly from the context of privileged, private schools. Disengagement permeates schools both in South Africa, as well as internationally and, therefore, it is important to develop a holistic understanding of the phenomenon. Moreover, the researcher wants to add to the existing body of knowledge and divulge a deeper understanding of disengagement, especially with regard to the specific context of the research site. This will allow for remedial action to be implemented in the future. The ecosystemic theory provided a suitable theoretical framework of reference, due to the multidimensional nature of both the phenomenon and the participants. The research study was conducted within the qualitative paradigm and focussed on the use of case studies and open-ended questions in order to extract the meaning-rich experiences from the participants. Three, in-depth, one-on-one interviews were recorded and transcribed. The transcriptions were analysed and the common themes were identified, presented and examined against the existing literature. The findings revealed that predominately emotional, personal, family, school, and peer influences affect boys‟ experiences of school disengagement. It also revealed the highly integrated nature of the subsystems affecting the boys; the importance of analysing each participant from their unique context; the multidimensionality of the phenomenon of disengagement; and that inspirational instruction is lacking in the lives of students who empathetically seek recognition for their scholastic efforts. Finally, the researcher concludes by stating some implications that the study has, with regard to formulating a remedial response to disengagement, as well as to future recommendations for research that may shed further light on the phenomenon of disengagement.


Master of Education in Education Studies. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Edgewood 2015.


Schoolboys -- South Africa -- Attitudes., High school dropouts -- South Africa., High school enrollment -- South Africa., Theses -- Education.