Male adolescents' sense of self after reintegration into schools in the Western Cape
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This study focuses on the sense of self of adolescents when they are reintegrated into schools after dropping out. Dropout is a global phenomenon and yet very little research has been undertaken regarding reintegration and especially the successful reintegration of adolescents and how this reintegration affects their sense of self. The goal of the study was to determine how reintegrated adolescents experience their reintegration into schools, and how this has affected them in terms of how they see themselves. The research hoped to discover what personal difficulties the adolescents had overcome in their return to school as well as the motivating factors that would keep the reintegrated adolescents in school. The research was conducted from a phenomenological Gestalt, field approach and followed a qualitative research design within an interpretivist framework. This research design allows the participants to give meaning to their own experiences. A total of six adolescent boys between the ages of 13 and 17 were purposefully selected from the informal settlement of Groenheuwel, Paarl in the Western Cape. Five of the six adolescents had been reintegrated into schools in 2011 and 2012 by the Khula Development Group. One adolescent participant was a peer educator and although he had never dropped out, he contributed meaningful data on how reintegrated adolescents are experienced as seen from his role as a peer educator. Other participants in the research included the Headmaster of Groenheuwel Primary School and the President and Project leader of the Khula Development Group. The qualitative data were collected in the form of individual open-ended interviews with the adolescents, project leader and headmaster. The researcher’s objective was to understand and interpret the meanings the participants gave to their own experiences, which was further done through observation, member checking, and a reflective group discussion including the application of an art technique. The interviews were recorded on DVD. The reflective group discussion was held with the adolescent participants two weeks after the individual interviews. The group discussion included an art technique, where the adolescents were asked to create their experiences of their return to school in clay. This session was also recorded on DVD. Recordings were transcribed by the researcher to ascertain certain emerging themes and categories. Thematic data analysis was used to transform the transcribed data into meaningful information. The principles and strategies for enhancing the trustworthiness of the data were done through crystallisation. The findings of the study revealed the unrealistic expectations with which the adolescents view their sense of self.
- Humanities