The nature, causes and effects of school violence in South African high schools
We sought to investigate the nature, causes and effects of school violence in four South African high schools. A purposive sample of five principals, 80 learners and 20 educators was selected from the four schools used in the study. A sequential mixed method approach was used in this study; both questionnaires and interviews were used. The design is divided into two phases, beginning with the collection and analysis of quantitative data, followed by the collection and analysis of qualitative data. The overall purpose of this design is that the qualitative data help explain or build upon initial quantitative results from the first phase of the study. The advantage of the design is that its two-phased nature makes it uncomplicated to implement and to report on. A combination of both quantitative and qualitative methods provides a better understanding
of the research problem than either approach alone. A pilot study of the questionnaire was conducted in a school outside the province in which the study was done. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of the questionnaire was 0.72. This was a high positive coefficient and implied that the questionnaire used was reliable. The study found that bullying, vandalism, gangsterism, indiscipline, intolerance, and corporal punishment were prevalent in schools. Furthermore, the study found that school violence had the following effects on learners: loss of concentration; poor academic performance; bunking of classes; and depression. The implications of these findings are discussed in detail.
Keywords: causes, effects, nature, school violence, South Africa
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