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A systemic exploration of learners’ performance in primary schools: a practitioner research perspective.

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Learners in Nelspruit circuit in Mpumalanga Province performed poorly and below National average for since 200I. The researcher used a subjective interpretive paradigm, to understand the support given by subject advisors in primary schools in Nelspruit circuit. Social realities may have an influence on the behavioral patterns of the schools in the Nelspruit circuit. Using the subjective interpretive paradigm in this study, it will give the researcher an opportunity to understand the point of view of teachers and School Management Teams (SMTs) in the social reality which may affect learner performance in primary schools. School Management Teams (SMTs) have a role to play in accelerating the delivery of quality education through sound management of curriculum. Subjective interpretive paradigm acknowledges a number of advantages as well as emphasis on relationship between basic elements. It points to the need to study the organisations because there could be factors below the surface level which are less observant but may have more explanatory power than those at the surface regarding the performance of the organisation. This may include but not limited to the following factors: Socio economic factors, health factors climatic conditions and many more. Using subjective interpretive approach, the researcher will have to also look at other hidden factors which cause learners to perform so poorly. A study was conducted in 5 primary schools in the Nelspruit circuit regarding the whole teaching and learning process focusing on the support they receive from the Department of Education through subject advisors in order to find the reasons for poor performance of learners. The questionnaires were used to gather data, enabled participants to comment on the support by subject advisors in order to improve learner’s performance and also commented about the factors affecting the operations of the school either negatively or positively.


Master of Commerce in Leadership Studies. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.