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South African Journal of Education

Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

PILLAY, Jace. Keystone Life Orientation (LO) teachers: implications for educational, social, and cultural contexts. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.2, pp. 167-177. ISSN 0256-0100.

The aim of this study was to identify and describe skills, characteristics and support networks needed by keystone Life Orientation (LO) teachers in six Gauteng schools. In this study "keystone" refers to LO teachers who make a positive impact in their schools. A qualitative research design was used to collect data through interviews, class observations, and questionnaires. Data were analysed through content analysis. The results indicate that keystone LO teachers must be skilled counselors, career guides and diverse role players. They should also be open, approachable, have integrity, be trustworthy, resolve conflict and make good use of internal and external support within the context of schools. More importantly, it was found that keystone LO teachers are determined by their ability to deal with challenges, such as child abuse, substance abuse, poverty, and HIV/AIDS within their school communities. Based on the findings, the implications for keystone LO teachers in the educational, social and cultural contexts are discussed.

Keywords : bio-ecological systems theory; cultural context; educational context; keystone; life orientation; context.

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