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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.73 n.1 Pretoria  2008




"Caring schools" - a solution for addressing challenging behaviour in schools?1


"Omgeeskole" - 'n oplossing om uitdagende gedrag in skole te hanteer?



F.H. Weeks

School of Education, UNISA, Pretoria. E-mail:




Media reports suggest that challenging behaviour is no longer the exception to the rule in South African schools. Furthermore, such problem behaviour is increasingly violent in nature, thus constituting a particular cause for concern. In this article the concept of "caring schools" is explored as a means of addressing learners' challenging behaviour. A research study was undertaken at eight South African primary schools. The conclusions drawn from this research were verified by the correlative research findings of other researchers, as ascertained from the literature study. A key element of this research was the identification of attributes associated with caring schools and the impact thereof on learners' behaviour patterns. From the findings of this research study it is concluded that caring schools represent a possible solution for dealing with challenging behaviour in South African schools.

Key concepts: caring schools; challenging behaviour; discipline; ethics of care; unmet emotional needs; violent behaviour


Verslae in die media toon dat uitdagende gedrag lankal nie meer die uitsondering op die reël is in Suid-Afrikaanse skole nie. Uitdagende gedrag is voorts ook gewelddadig van aard, wat 'n verdere rede tot kommer veroorsaak. In hierdie artikel word die konsep "omgeeskole" verken as 'n wyse om uitdagende gedrag te hanteer. Navorsing is by agt primêre, Suid-Afrikaanse skole onderneem. Die gevolgtrekkings gemaak op grond van hierdie navorsing, is deur die navorsingsbevindings van ander navorsers geverifieer, soos blyk uit die literatuurstudie. 'n Kerngedagte wat uit die navorsing blyk, is die identifisering van gedragspatrone, soos ontleen aan 'n etiek van omgee, wat eie is aan 'n omgeeskool. Die impak daarvan op leerders se uitdagende gedragspatrone, soos blyk uit hulle onbevredigde emosionele behoeftes, blyk ook hieruit. Die navorsingsresultate lei tot die gevolgtrekking dat "omgeeskole" 'n moontlike oplossing kan bied om uitdagende gedrag in Suid-Afrikaanse skole te hanteer.

Kernbegrippe: dissipline; etiek van omgee; gewelddadige gedrag; omgeeskole; onbevredigde emosionele behoeftes; uitdagende gedrag



Full text available only in PDF format.



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1 The author would like to thank Professor I. Horn of the University of South Africa for her guidance and support in the writing of this article.

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