Investigating the factors that contribute to the academic underachievement of grade 9 learners
Academic underachievement potentially redirects the future of adolescents. The specific sample for this research was Grade nine learners. Grade nine is when subject choices are made and the last year of compulsory education. Academic underachievement during Grade nine becomes a barrier to career enhancing subject choices. Subject choice is a first step to greater specialisation of skills and a future career path. This study focused on the investigation of factors that could possibly contribute to the academic underachievement of Grade nine learners to the extent that they would fail. The findings will make teachers more aware of the influence that the internal and external fields of Grade nine learners have on their academic achievement. From the results it was found that academic underachievement is influenced by peer acceptance, parental involvement, cognitive development, the ability to handle examination anxiety, the Grade nine learner's perception of academic identity as well as other factors. A mixed method approach was used. Interviews with underachieving Grade nine learners, Grade nine teachers and Grade nine parents, as well as questionnaires completed by a cluster sample of the general Grade nine population of this study indicated the influence of the underachievers' external and internal fields on academic performance.
- Humanities