Teachers as change agents: primary teachers'perceptions and management of bullying in a selected school at KwaMashu area.
Mbambo, Sinenhlanhla Immaculate.
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rimary teachers’ perceptions on bullying and management are still limited within the South African context. This study explores primary school teachers’ perceptions on bullying and management in a selected primary school in KwaMashu Township in South Africa. The study is located within the interpretive paradigm and it employed a qualitative approach. A single case study methodology was used with primary teachers to understand their perceptions of bullying and management. In order to generate data one- on- one interviews and focus group discussions were used. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample that comprised of 10 female teachers between the ages of 32 and 56, who had been in the teaching environment for over seven years, come from different cultural and religious backgrounds and all work in the same school of study. The study was guided by Bronfenbrenner’s Bio-Ecological Model. To analyze generated data thematic analysis method was utilized. The key themes that emerged from the analyzed data were: Theme 1: teachers’ understanding of bullying and the subtitles in this category were what is in the word bullying and the issues that are integral to bullying. Theme2: The causes and consequences of bullying and the sub themes that emerged were the individual factors, the socio-economic factors, the family risk factors and the school factors. Under consequences of bullying issues such as psychological consequences and academic consequences as well as long-term and short term consequences were considered. Under Theme 3: Teachers’ perceptions on the management and the barriers to managing bullying, subcategories such as: the identification of bullying, teachers’ response towards bullying and continued bullying. Moreover the barriers towards the management of bullying were also highlighted. The findings of the study indicated that teachers in the primary school of study acted as agents of change, they utilized their multiple understandings of the concept of bullying and they adopted fragmented ways of managing bullying.