Teachers cultivating resilience in learners attending school in rural contexts: a narrative inquiry.
Author(s)Ndlovu, Sindisiwe Maxentia.
Motivation in Teaching.
Teachers - Attitudes.
Theses - Education.
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AbstractMaster of Education in Development Studies. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2017.
This study explores teachers’ stories of lived experience and their capacity for cultivating
resilience in learners attending schools in rural contexts. Through the storied lives of the three
teachers, Saint, Maria and Faith, I was able to develop a deeper and more insightful
understanding of the everyday challenges that teachers’ who work in rural context face. I also
understand the perspectives that teachers adopt to negotiate the challenges in order to open up
possibilities for thinking and acting differently inside and outside of their classrooms.
The methodological approach for this study is narrative inquiry, and it is located within the
interpretative paradigm. The data sources were personal stories of participants. Various artsbased
methods were employed for generating the data which included collage inquiry,
artefact inquiry and unstructured interviews. Through these multiple data sources, I was able
to reconstruct stories of the personal and professional lives of the teacher participants to
respond to the research questions in my study.
The study has employed the triple lens theory that combines the Broaden and Build theory,
resilience as multidimensional and complex process, and the generative theory of rurality.
This triple lens framework enabled me to understand rurality as a social space that is complex
and dynamic; and teachers and the practices they adopt to open up possibilities to sustain
their commitment and to strengthen their capacity to develop resilience in learners.
The study shows the importance of personal and cultural values and routines in broadening
their lives as teachers to become life-long learners and activists campaigning for a different
life as men and women. As teachers, these individuals are able to adopt unique and
personally meaningful approaches and methods that are contextually relevant to learners
attending school in a rural context. Opening up opportunities through both curricular and
extracurricular activities, they draw on particular personal and cultural knowledge to develop
social, emotional and intellectual skills in learners so that they may think and act differently.