Educators’ Perceptions of Factors Contributing to School Violence in Alexandra
School violence continues to be highly prevalent in many low-income communities in South Africa. This study made use of an interpretive research paradigm to explore educators’ subjective views of school violence in Alexandra. Participants were 12 educators at selected government schools with at least 5 years teaching experience. Individual interviews were carried out to explore these educators’ experiences and subjective understandings of factors contributing to school violence. Thematic content analysis was used to report results at the individual, family, school, community and societal levels which educators perceived to play a role in school violence. At an individual and familial level age, mental health and child rearing arose as risk factors of school violence. Educators also signalled relational concerns within the institutional and leadership structures in schools as well as tensions between staff and learners as school factors. Whereas socio-political changes in South Africa, poverty, a lack of resources and the availability of illicit substances within the community were raised as community and societal risk factors for school violence.
Keywords: ecological approach; educators, interpretive research, low-income communities; prevention; school violence