On-line version ISSN 0023-270X
Managing learner aggression in the school system is central to learners' academic performance and holistic development. In order to manage learner aggression, it is important to understand the contributory factors and the forms of learner aggression. This article reports on an investigation of factors contributing to learner aggression in rural secondary schools in the Empangeni district of KwaZulu-Natal in order to identify the forms of learner aggression and to establish strategies to manage such aggression in these secondary schools. A qualitative research design was adopted to investigate the phenomenon through an interview process with participants from five rural secondary schools. The findings showed that the factors contributing to learner aggression include family factors, environmental factors and school-related factors whilst the most common forms of learner aggression in schools are verbal aggression, physical aggression and bullying. The article concludes with the role that the school, parents and the Department of Education can play in addressing learner aggression in schools.