Learner performance disparities between former white and former black schools in Gauteng Province of South Africa after more than a decade of democracy.

Baloyi, Hlengani Goldwin
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A Five-pillar conceptual framework -good social environment, focused instruction, well-trained and regularly supervised teachers, family background and language of learning and teaching- is used in this dissertation as a theoretical construct through which to make sense of persistent learner performance disparities between former white and former black schools in the South African public education system. This is a largely qualitative research project which employs a case study approach within a study area comprised of four purposive sample schools. The study is exploratory in nature in that it seeks to investigate why former white schools continue to perform better than former black schools despite massive educational changes made since 1994. I argue in this dissertation that teaching and learning processes between former white and former black schools are still fraught with huge inequalities, hence learner performance disparities. In other words, despite the investment, inputs and strategies since 1994, the education system in historically black schools is not working largely because of issues of classroom practice. A multi-method approach for data collection purposes was used in this study: testing, interviews, observations, intensive literature review and documentary analysis. Learner focus groups, maths teachers, teacher union representatives and school principals formed the backbone of research respondents in this project. The results show immense and unrelenting prevalence of inequalities and variations between former white and former black schools in terms of almost all aspects of teaching and learning processes. The essence of the results is that for the South African education system to achieve equitable learner performance across all schools, it must first achieve equity in terms of teaching and learning processes and needs.
Learner performance, Disparities, Former Black schools, Former White schools, Educational equity, Family background, Socio-economic status, Teacher quality, Supervision and evaluation, Content knowledge, Pedagogical content knowledge, Accountability, Development, Dysfunctional, Language of teaching and learning