A Quick-Scan Study of the Cognitive Learning Environment of Final Year High-School Students from Previously Disadvantaged Communities

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A QUICK-SCAN STUDY OF THE COGNITIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT OF FINAL YEAR HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS FROM PREVIOUSLY DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES by Shamiel Adams

Date:11/04/14

Research Methodology 2011 (DVS 733) , Assignment 2: Research Questionnaire Course convenor. W. Louw

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1) Introduction3

2) Aims4

3) Objectives4

4) Case Study: Six Learners from Sybelius High in Steenberg5

5) Research Methodology 5

CONSENT FORM20

A STUDY OF THE COGNITIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT OF FINAL YEAR HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS FROM PREVIOUSLY DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES (?)

1) Introduction

South Africa has one of the highest rates of public investment in education in the world, ( ref ) still a rather bleak picture emerges when reviewing The South African National Department of Education's Macro Indicator Trend in Schooling: Summary Report 2011.

This recent research indicate that fewer than half of all 24-year olds in the country have completed Grade 12 ( final year high-school). As for the class of 2010, while the pass rate was a respectable 68% nationally, only 24% of obtained a pass which enables entrance to university. Notably, these results are the highest record since the inception of democracy in '94. ( ref )

As a development state South Africa remains committed to advancing it's previously oppressed masses. ( ref ) Despite South Africa's revered constitution, record achievements in economic growth[1][2] (before the recession) and an astonishing list of international accolades[3], the state of education presently and for the foreseeable future indeed seems bleak .

Global experience dictates that investment in education is a plausible long-term approach to economic prosperity. ( ref ) However, for those who remain plagued by unemployment and poverty the chances of advancement through education indeed seems nearly impossible.

Of the stat highlighted below, indeed very few learners from poor backgrounds make it to their final year of high-school. ( ref ) Those who manage to reach the doorsteps of this pivotal educational milestone are subjected to a national exam which , upon successfully completions is arguable the only conceivable key to the promise of sustainable livelihood through higher education and/or the job market.

Statistically ( ref ) _____ percent of underprivileged youth make it to that final year of high school, and even less so to further education or sustainable employment. ( ref )

For those that do, a further challenge remains. The exam paper they have to pass is the same one that everyone writes nationally. In other words, in spite of getting to matric under very difficult conditions, these youth inevitably have to compete on an even playing field with private schools and the like.

This study focuses on a small group of final year high school students from a low-income background. It explores the formal and non-formal education and social support frameworks which under-privileged learners’ access in the final year at high-school. In particular, it identifies, and examines support and development mechanisms available in poor communities.

Finally, it considers the leadership and resilience demonstrated by youth who manage to shed the limitations of poverty and take a stand for themselves and one another to better their lives.

2) Aims

The study will explore the circumstances under which deprived youth who reach final year high-school are tasked with passing, and advancing to university. The primary aim of this study is to develop an understanding of the existing conditions deprived youth face with a view to identifying potential youth education support intervention

3) Objectives

To examine formal and none-formal support mechanisms which deprived youth access

To develop insight into the challenges deprived youth face in completing their final year studies, and accessing further education

To attain an...
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