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Koers

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

Koers (Online) vol.83 n.1 Pretoria  2018

http://dx.doi.org/10.19108/koers.83.1.2325 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

The management and governance of racial integration in public secondary schools in Gauteng

 

 

Shantha NaidooI; Jace PillayII; Lloyd ConleyIII

IFaculty of Education Management and Leadership, University of Johannesburg
IISouth African Research Chair, Education and Care in Childhood, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Soweto, South Africa
IIINorth West University

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

The main purpose of this paper was to establish the effectiveness of school management ana governance structures in managing racial integration in public secondary schools. A qualitative study was conducted utilising Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Lewin's Change Management Theory A sample of grade 10 learners and educators, which included members of the School Management Team (SMT), School Governing Body (SGB), which represented the four previous education departments, was purposefully selected. Semi-structured, individual interviews and focus group discussions, including a questionnaire with open-ended questions, were used to gather data. The findings, obtained through content analysis, indicate that SMTs and SGBs experience difficulty in managing and governing racial integration in public schools due to the following: policy and practice issues, poor interrelationships, need for capacity building of educators, and on-going racial conflict. Based on the findings, recommendations are made on how SMTs and SGBs could effectively manage racial integration in public secondary schools.

Keywords: governance, management, racial integration; Critical Race Theory, Lewin's Change Management Theory


 

 

1. Introduction

The democratic order in South Africa has created numerous structural and systemic changes entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996). Research by scholars (Carrim & Soudien, 1999; Meier, 2005; Vandeyar, 2008) found that dominant approaches - such as assimilation, multicultural education and anti- racism - were used to integrate learners from diverse racial backgrounds in the classroom; however these approaches have not completely led to successful racial integration. Assimilation can be understood as the values, behaviours, ethos and character of the dominant group that frame the social and cultural context of the school (Sayed & Soudien, 2006). Multicultural education aspires to create equal educational opportunities for learners from racially diverse groups, ethnic social classes, and cultural groups (Vandeyar, 2010). The anti-racist approach is "an action-orientated strategy for institutional systemic change to address racism and the interlocking systems of social oppression" (Dei, 1996:25). These approaches have led to continued marginalisation that is still practiced in many schools (Meier, 2005).

In a democratic education system, management and governance structures play a fundamental role in providing equal education for all learners. Management can be characterised as a process of "planning, organising, leading and controlling" the efforts of school management and governance structures in achieving their goals (Stoner & Wankel, 1986: 4). Governance deals with the processes and systems by which a school operates as a partnership with parents to work collaboratively to form the School Governing Body (SGB) (Karlson, 2002).

Currently, education in South Africa remains under transformation and is faced with serious challenges regarding issues of race (Chisholm, 2004). This has created uncertainty as to whether School Management Teams (SMTs) and governance structures are able to solve current challenges related to racial integration (Van der Berg cited in Nel, 2009). Some of these challenges are: school policies are not aligned with South Africa's Constitution; educators are unable to cope with racial inclusivity and management of racial conflict amongst learners; the curriculum needs to be engineered to accommodate the diverse needs of learners from racially diverse backgrounds; and SMTs and educators need to be trained to manage the dynamics of conflicting interrelationships, both with learners themselves and their educators (Pather, 2005).

Research by scholars (Vally & Dalamba, 1999; Jansen 2004; Vandeyar, 2010); shows that SMTs and SGBs lack practical guidance in bridging the gap to effectively manage racial integration. Hence, this article explores the effectiveness of school management and governance structures in managing racial integration in public secondary schools. Public secondary schools were targeted, as media reports indicate the prevalence of racial issues in public schools, with barely any reports of these in private schools. Grade 10 learners were targeted, since they could read and write, and express themselves in a mature manner in response to the questions.

 

2. An international perspective

International studies have established that the dominant approaches of assimilation, multicultural education and antiracist education, underpin the debates on managing racial integration in public secondary schools. These approaches explain the complex interrelatedness of socio-economic, historical and cultural values and how they influence the school life of learners and educators. The process of a racially integrated schooling system was introduced in the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (US) and Canada after World War 2 (Mafumo, 2010).

In the UK the assimilation approach was used to racially integrate minority Black African learners, into the ethos of the school. Assimilation meant integrating 'alien' Blacks into the ways, language, lifestyles and values of British people, therefore denying their own beliefs, identities and practices of their ethnic origins (Mafumo, 2010). According to Lemmer and Squelch (1993) multicultural education was suggested as a solution to address difficulties that surfaced during the assimilation approach. As a result, multicultural education neither addressed, nor prevented the issues of institutional racism because the main goal was to make Black learners acquiescent.

After the 1966 race riots, the government attempted to address racial problems by using the assimilation approach. The primary goal of assimilation was to use education to anglicise the multiracial immigrants (American Indians, African Americans and Mexican Americans) and equip them with the skills to acquire the language, values and behaviour needed to succeed in American English culture and its institutions (Banks, 2006). Assimilation promoted social injustice which stripped Black learners' of their identity, culture, language and traditions. The failure to effectively integrate Black learners led to the introduction of multicultural education (Banks, 2006).

The Canadian government used multicultural and anti-racist approaches to address issues of racism (Dorotich & Stephan, 1984). Multicultural education maintained the status quo, illuminating the difference between the various racial groups based on status. Anti-racist education failed in its inability to cultivate critical thinking skills and openly discuss challenges of racially diverse learners in ways that would enable them to connect and belong to an education system that practices social justice and effective integration.

 

3. Racial integration in South African schools

In South African schools, racial integration is vital in creating desegregated and equal institutions, as envisaged by the Constitution (Nkomo, McKinney & Chisholm, 2004). South Africa's complex multiracial history has brought new challenges for educators. As described by Critical Race Theorists, many educators came from isolated backgrounds, lacked the knowledge and training of cultures and customs of other racial groups (Zeichner & Liston, 1996; Pather, 2005; Vandeyar (2006, 2009).

Furthermore, school managers, governance structures and educators were not equipped to deal with racially diverse learners and their biased perceptions negatively affected their ability to facilitate racial integration amongst learners (Pather, 2005). Sayed and Soudien (2006:11) suggest that 'equal opportunities' have had a minimal impact on the disadvantaged learners from the inherited apartheid education system. To a certain extent, they have caused major structural inequalities, with learners from former black schools labelled as incompetent, illiterate and ignorant. Despite years of reform effort, South Africa continues to lag behind when compared internationally and has failed to significantly integrate learners from racially diverse background (Mafumo, 2010). Numerous post-1994 policies and legislative enactments were developed to reform education, however, township (Black) schools remain largely excluded from the process of integration, while previously 'Coloured 'and 'Indian 'schools have a substantial number of Black learners, with White learners mostly absent. These approaches create inequalities by requiring Black learners to adopt the language, ethos and values of the school, thereby undermining their racial backgrounds and heritage. As a result, racial segregation and racism persist. Therefore, strong educational leadership is needed to facilitate racial integration in public secondary schools.

3.1 The need for strong leadership and management to facilitate racial integration

Aligned to the preceding discussion, the author believes that racial integration has not been successful in most public schools, largely due to the difficulties experienced by SMTs, SGBs and educators. Whilst it is essential for all relevant stakeholders in schools to be responsible for racial integration, one would argue that SMTs and SGBs should be skilled to take charge of this process. School management and governance structures are neither equipped or skilled nor practically trained to manage the complex issues surrounding race, racism or jurisprudence (Vandeyar, 2010; Jansen, 2004).

 

4. Theoretical perspectives

Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Lewin's Change Management Theory are two theories used in this study that focuses on the dilemmas that obstructs the process of effective racial integration in public secondary schools. In this study, the CRT supports the social justice framework and suggests an understanding of why effective racial integration is not taking place. Lewin's Change Management Theory expresses aspects of South African schools that are undergoing major social and organisational changes. These changes were ascribed to poor school management and governance structures in some schools, ineffective policy formulation and implementation, lack of commitment from staff, unsuitable interrelationships between racially diverse learners, a lack of social justice that forms an integral part of democratic educational change and underperforming educators (Naidoo, 2014).

 

5. Critical race theory

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is used in this study to inform and expand critical approaches to racial integration in education. Its first tenet is that society accepts racism as an ordinary and permanent fixture of life (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001). Thus, any solution to remedy the issue of racism comes from unmasking and exposing the true nature of racism in all of its permutations (Ladson-Billings, cited in (Liggett, 2014). At present, race issues remain hidden in practices such as 'assimilation' and 'colour- blindness'.

The researcher used CRT for learners to voice their experiences and perceptions, as well as to create meaning and understanding of this generational lived reality, which was prevalent in the lives of most educators but not those of the learners.

Mohanty (2000) argues people construct their knowledge and understanding from their personal and social experiences, and interactions based on cognitively mediated processes. Delgado (1995) states that CRT is able to help racially diverse learners to understand their own reality through legal discourse, in the following ways: (1) reality is socially constructed by the formation and exchange of stories about individual situations; (2) through stories, marginalised groups are given the opportunity for psychic self- preservation encouraging them to heal from the pain of racial oppression; and (3) the exchange of stories can help in overcoming past racial abuse. CRT provides a multi- layered approach to understanding the complexities of racism, racial jurisprudence and the management of racial integration. Throughout this study the researcher examined the intersectionality between racism and racial integration as a way of examining the role of school management in racially integrating learners, diverse classrooms, the perceptions of educators and learners, school policy in practice, and the functions of governance.

 

6. Lewin's change management theory

Change needs to be seen as a constant feature in the life of an organisation (school), hence Lewin's three-stage model for organisational change was chosen as the framework for this investigation which presents a framework for effective management of racial integration. These phases are unfreezing of ones perceptions, biases, beliefs of others and own actions, culture/climate, and the ineffective management of racial integration in an organisation; change identifies alternatives to a new state; and refreezing involves the implementation and monitoring the new changes to make it permanent.

The researcher identified Lewin's CMT (1950) for the emerging trends in education and to guide the school through various challenges and dilemmas that are fostered by racial integration. According to Wirth (2004:1), Lewin's theorised model of change became known as "Unfreezing - Change - Refreezing". Schools should examine the issues experienced by learners pertaining to racism, racial integration and racial prejudice. This is the unfreezing stage from which change begins. Firstly, this stage of change involves preparing the school to accept that change is necessary, and that the existing status quo needs to be dismantled. In order for effective racial integration to take place, SMTs need to start at the core of the schools' beliefs, values, attitudes, behaviours and culture that currently define it. Communication about the proposed change is vital at this stage if all stakeholders are to understand and support it (Schein, 1996). This stage can create an effective controlled crisis, which in turn can assist school management and governance structures to build a strong motivation to seek out a new equilibrium (Schein, 1996).

Secondly, after the uncertainty has been created in the unfreeze stage, the change stage is when school management and governance structures help stakeholders to resolve their uncertainty of racially diverse learners and focus on new effective ways to implement racial integration. During this process, effective communication is needed, and empowerment of stakeholders to embrace new ways of working with racially diverse learners, learning new values, attitudes, and behaviours in facilitating these learners. Problems are identified and action plans, in-service training and workshops, are developed to enable implementation of a non-racial school environment. School management and governance structures need to be flexible and transparent, which is needed in the planning and implementation of the change. Lastly, the process ends when the school returns to a sense of stability (refreeze) in which all stakeholders embrace the new effective ways of working with racially diverse learners, this is a focal point because it creates the confidence which is necessary to embark on the next inevitable change (Schein, 1996).

There is a drastic need for SMTs and SGBs to be instrumental in facilitating racial integration in schools. Consequently, the change process is dependent upon people for the success of change processes in schools, irrespective of the ingrained attitudes and behaviour of racism, racial prejudice and jurisprudence. However, although in situations in which change can be considered as the best choice in a work situation there will still be fear and anxiety (Grobler, Bisschoff & Mestry, 2003). Educator "resistance to change is a human response" (Naidoo, 2014:12). For racial integration to be effective one also needs to understand racism and how it manifests itself in schools. CRT can assist SMTs to better understand the issues of race and racism and how the intersectionality of these factors are "fore grounded and backgrounded in the educational context" of racial integration in desegregated schools (Liggett, 2014:115).

 

7. Research design Methodology

A qualitative research design that was descriptive, exploratory and contextual in nature was used. Questionnaires for learners and educators were designed to capture both descriptive and qualitative data concurrently. This study is both explorative and contextual in nature to gain insight into the problems school management and governance structures experienced in facilitating racial integration in public secondary schools (Sliep, 1994). As well as the experiences and problems of school management and governance structures in facilitating and managing racial integration of learners (Grade 10) and educators in public secondary schools.

 

8. Sample and data-collection method

Two Grade 10 learners from four different schools (n=8), reflecting each of the former White, Indian, Coloured and Black education departments, were purposively chosen to participate in the study. Data was collected through individual in-depth interviews with learners, followed by four focus group discussions between five SMT members and five SGB members in each group. The individual interviews and focus group discussions were tape-recorded with consent, and transcribed verbatim. The methods of data management, reading, memoing (memo-writing, describing, classifying and interpreting data into codes and themes, representing and visualising) - as described by Creswell (2009) - were used to analyse the commonalities of data. In addition to the interviews, open-ended questionnaires were given to learners (n=336), and members of the SMT and educators (n=88). The sample was drawn from the Johannesburg (South and Central) education districts in the Gauteng Province.

 

9. Ethical considerations

Ethical clearance to conduct this study was granted by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Education at a Gauteng university. The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) approved the study and ethical approval was also acquired from the relevant schools. All the principals confirmed their co-operation. The intent of this research study was discussed with educators and members of the SGB. They were reminded that the consent they signed was not binding; however, they still had the opportunity to withdraw. Consent from the educators and parents were confirmed. Written consent was then obtained from parents/ guardians of learners. No names of participants or schools are mentioned in this article to maintain confidentiality. Interviews were audiotaped and then transcribed verbatim.

 

10. Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness was applied to ensure reliability and validity of the study. Lincoln and Guba (in Flick, 2006) regard credibility, dependability, transferability and confirmability as key strategies of trustworthiness in qualitative research. In this study, the researcher established credibility by triangulating theories which support racial integration.

Dependability was achieved from data sources and methods to gain a better understanding of the research findings and to provide rigor to the study. Transferability refers to the extent to which the findings of one study can be applied to other situations. Merriam (2009) suggests that for transferability to be possible, rich and detailed descriptions of the context of the study need to be provided to enable readers or other researchers to determine the trustworthiness of the research findings and interpretations, as well as to compare and judge for any similarities (Ary, Jacobs, Sorensen & Walker, 2014). The researcher provided accurate and in-depth description of the participants and the context in which the study was conducted. Comparisons were made to investigate the four schools and how they managed racial integration. Confirmability indicates that the emphasis of neutrality should pertain in the procedures applied as well as the way the results are interpreted (Ary et al. 2014). Detailed records of the research are kept securely for six years to provide future researchers with records that confirm data when investigating the similar situation.

 

11. Data analysis

The data from the individual interviews and focus group discussions were analysed using the ATLAS.ti programme to conduct qualitative content analysis, in line with the steps suggested by Henning, Van Rensburg and Smit (2004) and Creswell (2009). The ATLAS.ti is a specialised software package which allows the researcher to 'extract, categorise and interlink data segments' from a large variety of documents (Friese cited in Engelbrecht, Nel, Nel & Tlale 2015:5). All statements relevant to the topic were identified. Keywords and descriptive phrases were used to make notes about meaningful segments in the transcripts of the data analysed. In this process, coding using colours that highlighted the important themes was used in order to answer the research question posed: How effective are school management and governance structures in managing and facilitating racial integration in public secondary schools? Recurring statements and phrases were then grouped into categories (families) and thereafter organised into themes (Merriam, 2009). Participants were given numbers as codes that were used in transcribing data as well as presenting the data. The learners who participated in individual interviews were referred to as 'learner participants' and coded I1 to I8. Participants in focus groups who were the members of the SMT and SGB were referred to as FG 1 to FG 4. In the questionnaires, all respondents were given numbers and coded with the first letter of the group to which they belonged, for example, educators would be E1 to E88 and learners would be L1 to L336.

 

12. Results

Four major themes emerged from the qualitative data analysis, all centred on the challenges of the management and governance of racial integration in public secondary schools, namely: policy and practice issues, poor interrelationships, capacity building of educators and on-going racial conflict. Evidence of findings is provided in verbatim quotations from the data collected, and as a result there are derogatory terms that the reader may find offensive or unfamiliar.

 

13. Policy and practice issues

Five sub-themes were identified, namely: absence of a racial integration policy; educators' inconsistency to implement policies; difficulty in interpreting and understanding policies on racial integration; policy with effect to school curriculum and the quality of education, and the policy of language of instruction.

Schools have programmes that deal with discipline issues, but there is an absence of racial integration policies and programmes or support intervention for combating racism within the school.

Educator (FG3) was frustrated by how schools managed racism without being able to address the root of the problem, which was to understand the meaning of 'racial diversity'. Dialogue with learners (I2, I3, and I6) pointed out the lack of a racial integration programme'.

Educators' inconsistency in implementing policies has led to the following: Learner (L47) remarked: 'There's no policy for race, if there is a fight and there's a 'fair-go' [a fight among learners], Mr Khan [pseudonym] blows his whistle and the children stop. They [are] taken to the office, but are back in school the next day with no warning'. Educator (E12) remarked: '...Our Code of Conduct has the rules and regulations about our school and these children must behave in a proper manner, so there's no need for policies'. Learner (L189) confirmed 'We have a school Code of Conduct, but it doesn't say anything about race and racism'.

SMTs are challenged with the difficulty in interpreting and understanding policies on racial integration. Educators and principals believe that we all need to recognise and accept our common humanity. Educator (E78) supported the statement:

'The policy does not say much and little is done to promote racial integration'. Some educators are oblivious to the prevalence of racism in schools (FG3): 'Our school is racially integrated. I do not see race and colour, I see the child'.

With regards to the effect of policy on school curriculum, racial integration appears not to be part of the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS), which was evident in the following response (E47): 'Racial integration is not formally included in the school curriculum'. A response to the open-ended questionnaire was (E3): 'The Department stipulates that racial integration is embedded in the curriculum, but I'm unable to link it to my teaching'.

Language in policy and practice appears to be a barrier to teaching and learning. The medium of learning and teaching in most schools is English; however, learners still prefer to communicate in their mother tongue, as evident in the following quotes from the individual interviews (L26): 'I get along well with Coloured kids, but when they don't want me to know something, they speak in Afrikaans'. Educators are not equipped with the skills and knowledge of teaching multiracial learners, which is evident in the following statement (L289): 'My teacher knows that I can't speak and write English well, but she still forces me to speak English in class, she doesn't like me. She tells me to go back to the school I came from because that's an English school and not a black school'.

 

14. Poor Interrelationships

Two sub-themes were identified, namely: poor interrelationships between learners of different racial groups; and between learners from different racial groups and educators.

Poor interrelationships between learners of different racial groups are still major concerns in multiracial schools. Learner (L231) stated: 'I'm a Zulu, but the Indian children have a problem with me. They swear me and spit on me, when I told my teacher she said that she will talk to them, but she never did. The next day was the same thing.' Principal (FG2) states that our students get along, but there are a few trouble makers that like to pick on race and colour'.

Poor interrelationships between learners and educators - Educators (FG1 and FG2) claim that they 'rarely interacted' with the learners on the playground, as shown in educator's (FG1) comment: 'I have no time to socialise with the learners, I see them in class, I teach and that's it. That's what I'm paid to do'. Learner (L52) claims that:

'The teachers and learners are racist, and they treat us unfairly. Whenever there is a problem the Blacks are blamed. We are teased and sworn at in Afrikaans'. Learner (I2) strongly believed: 'The Indian and Black teachers are not interested in problems about race.

The term "racist" was so often used when I came to secondary school... teacher's just brush off our problems, they think that every problem is about race and are not interested.'

 

15. Need for capacity-building of educators

The third theme that emerged from the findings was the need for capacity building of educators and the sub-themes were the need for educator professional development, and the lack of transparency of SMT and SGB in managing racial integration.

Educator professional development is needed as many educators have no significant experience of learners from racially diverse backgrounds. Participant (FG3) explained: 'When Black learners entered our schools I was shocked. I couldn't understand how persistent they were to travel so far to come to a school in which they don't even speak the language'. Educator from the focus group (FG1) stated that: 'I was consumed by a new democratic era, therefore new leadership, and different colour children in schools. This was all too much when I saw my new democratic classroom for the first time. I had all races in my one tiny classroom'. Further evidence showed that many educators were over the age of 40 and attended an educator training college in the apartheid era. An educator (FG1) asserted: 'They didn't train us to teach Black children because there weren't any Black children in the schools. The responses of educators' in the focus group, tallied with the notion that educators are still not trained appropriately to deal with the diverse backgrounds of learners and their rich history of beliefs.

The lack of transparency of SMT and SGB in managing racial integration was noted by many educators who experienced difficulty with their SGBs, both in their role as governors and their commitment to the learners. This is suggested by educator (E89): 'At our school the SGB is not transparent, they focus on learners abiding and strictly following the rules and regulations of the school as if the learners are trained monkeys'. Educator (E4) echoed similar sentiments: 'My perception is that the SGB is not 'hands on' in the development of school policy. Except for a small minority of individuals at the school who says that race is not an issue'. Educator (E56) said 'Our SGB does not challenge issues of racial integration and is non-existent at my school as we cater for only one racial group'.

 

16. Racial conflict

Racial incidents, name calling and labelling are evident in schools. Educators in previous Indian, Coloured and White (mixed race) schools noticed that racial incidents begin when learners speak in their mother tongue, resulting in major conflicts among different racial groups. In the open-ended questionnaire (L298) noted that: 'There is racial abuse in my school. It is between Xhosas and Zulus. They abuse one another because of their languages'. Educator (FG2) stated: 'My school does everything to help those learners that come from outside the feeder area, but we just don't tolerate problems about racial issues. It's too messy, they can rather fight outside school grounds, and then the school has nothing to do with it'.

Name calling and labelling were common among learners from the township and informal settlements, as they were often humiliated and mocked by learners and educators from the suburbs, as characterised by the following statement (L189): 'We were on a school trip and we were four racial groups studying together, suddenly a teacher came and separated us from Whites because she hated Blacks and she told us that we look like baboons. She called us ugly names and tells us to go back to our schools'. An educator from focus group (FG3) reported that: 'Teachers provoke learners by calling them racist names; some teachers are so free and vocal and humiliate learners publicly. And they expect learners to accept the names they are called.

 

17. Policy and practice issues

Discussion

Educators' incompetency to implement policies

SMTs agreed that policies did nothing to change the negative attitudes or behaviour of educators. Instead, educators continued to ignore the racial issues in their schools and expected them to eventually 'go away'. The question remains as to whether considerable efforts have been made by school management and governance structures to enable the schools to move forward in becoming non-racial and democratic according to the Constitution. Daniels (2010) confirms that educators were inconsistent in implementing policies on race, racism or racial integration, because it was seen as opening up their schools and classrooms to public scrutiny. Critical Race Theory identifies racism as an ingrained facet in schools, ensuring that policies that insist on treating racially diverse learners as equal can do little to remedy the problems of learners who are confronted with racial abuse every day, causing 'misery, alienation and despair' (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001: xvi). The reason for this was that educators were neither committed to, nor accountable for social change. Lewin's Change Management Theory can assist SMTs to develop policies that will create awareness in learners about current social issues - such as, racism, racial equity, racial integration, violence, coping with change, and children's rights - to serve as a focus in schools.

17.1 Policy with effect to school curriculum and quality of education

Educators from the former White, Indian and Coloured schools believed that poor school results could be blamed on the admission of Black learners from poor socio- economic and educational backgrounds. Although principals and school management teams expressed concern that the curriculum catered for the diverse needs of learners, learners are unable to explore their own racial values, while simultaneously being exposed to the ethos of the school. Meier (2005) confirms that schools' responses to racial diversity and educational change were inadequate. According to Nkomo et al. (2004), the barriers to racial acceptance arose from hidden aspects of the curriculum, which are the socially derived assumptions carried by educators into the school and racially diverse classroom. CRT can assist SMTs to construct active, dialogic and dialectical lessons based on the content of the curriculum, for instance, values in education should be holistically integrated within the school curriculum (Seddon, 1983). The Manifesto on Values and Democracy (2001) can serve as the fundamentals of curriculum development, so that learners benefit from a paradigm that adequately addresses the changing nature of race. The CMT allows SMTs to identify the subject areas that challenge racist attitudes and behaviours, as well as increase the educators' understanding of the effects of racism and racial discrimination

17.2 Policy regarding language of instruction

Educators regarded language as a problem and are frustrated with learners communicating in their 'mother-tongue' in an English class. The issue of language may have 'political dimensions and is used to separate the powerful from the powerless' (Desai & Van der Merwe, 1998:248). CRT can assist school management and governance structures in identifying and challenging all forms of racism, especially those perceptions of dominant and non-dominant groups that are politically superior because of race and language. The basis of CMT allows for school management and governance structures to review school policies to ensure that they reflect practices and procedures of racialism and do not discriminate against the learner on grounds of race or language (Pather, 2005).

 

18. Interrelationships

18.1 Interrelationships between learners from different racial groups

Communication between learners of different races was strained and usually involved some aspect of race, with learners being humiliated about the colour of their skin, hair, and dialect. Loden (1996) stipulates that the key to valuing diversity was based on the interaction between learners from diverse racial backgrounds. This is a crucial process in facilitating meaningful communication and builds openness and respect as barriers are broken down, promoting genuine racial integration. CRT can assist the educator to deal with learners concerns about racial altercations among the different racial groups, so that they are able to mingle freely. CMT can be used to develop workshops on racial integration and social justice to debunk the myths educators have about learners from racially diverse backgrounds. Educators need to be taught through active learning programmes to properly interact and understand the backgrounds of racially diverse learners.

18.2 Interrelationships between racially diverse learners and educators

Evidence of stereotyping in learners' and educators' discussions pointed out that there were many obstacles to promoting an equitable, racially integrated environment. In an attempt to treat all learners fairly, many educators stressed that they did not see a learner's colour, and believed that all learners in their racially diverse classrooms were the same. Educators who did not see colour perceived that they were, therefore, treating all learners equally. Pather (2005) confirms that educators will always encounter learners from racially diverse and varied backgrounds; however, it is the responsibility of the educator to facilitate effective racial integration strategies so that learners can meet the demands of the global society. SMTs and SGBs are structures that work directly with educators and learners to facilitate racial integration in schools, therefore, school management and governance structures need adequate training to address the needs of racially diverse learners. CRT serves as an emancipatory paradigm to counter the legacy of an oppressive education system and assist the majority of racially diverse learners, as well as to examine both the attitudes and behaviour of educators and SMT. CMT encourages SMTs to reflect on their own behaviour in relation to their racially diverse learners, as well as what constitutes a safe classroom environment in which learners are prepared to face stereotyping, racial prejudice and name-calling.

 

19. Need for capacity-building

19.1 Educator professional development

Educators are deeply agitated and frustrated when faced with racially diverse classrooms. White, Coloured and Indian educators were forced to teach racially diverse learners, while in Black schools the learners were mainly Black, with little or no racial integration taking place. The anxiety displayed by educators arose as they were also faced with large numbers of learners besides the classroom demographics being multiracial.

19.2 Teacher training programmes

Teacher training programmes should include opportunities for educators to experience the reality of the social conditions of racially diverse learners in schools. In-service Education and Training (INSET) must be based on departmental needs and curriculum-related issues that affect effective racial integration (Verma, Zec & Skinner, 1994). CRT examines the way in which educators, school management and governance structures manage and facilitate racial integration. According to Naidoo (1996), many schools are guilty of racial discriminatory actions against Black African learners; therefore, CMT is the fundamental solution to educator capacity building. Concepts associated with race should be examined to create a broader understanding of racially diverse schools. Review of current teacher practices as well as the setting of parameters to facilitate the future integration between races must be encouraged.

 

20. Racial conflict

20.1 Racial incidences and name calling/labelling

Learners who were the victims of racial abuse expressed feelings of pain, hurt, humiliation and anger. Learner's individual interviews evolved into a diatribe against educators, school managers, and learners from other racial groups. Learners mentioned that schools appeared to display incidences of racism in the form of belittlement and name-calling, either through physical or verbal abuse. Troyna and Hatcher (1995) confirm that any racist incidents in schools can be interpreted as misuse of power.

CRT focuses on the racial and barbaric experiences of the racially disadvantaged learners. It further argues that social reality is created by learners who are victimized so that we can understand the 'socially ingrained' and 'systemic forces' that affect racially diverse learners, specifically Black African and Coloured learners in this study (Pizarro 1999 as cited in Vandeyar 2010:346). Using the Change Management Theory, school management teams and governance structures need to examine relevant issues, defining a commitment in promoting racial integration, which state that schools will not tolerate racism, stereotyping, racial prejudice, racial discrimination and racial violence.

 

21. Conclusion

It has been pointed out repeatedly that racial integration was not evident in these schools; there was heightened racial conflict and racial incidents were prevalent in former White, Indian and Coloured schools. Learners from different racial groups were ridiculed because of their 'skin colour' and 'languages'. Policies were not in line with the South African Constitution and the curriculum did not accommodate the diverse needs of learners from racially diverse backgrounds. The dynamics of interrelationships in which racially diverse learners struggle to interact with learners and educators from other racial groups was still a huge challenge. The capacity building of educators needs to be developed so that clear parameters are set on equipping them with the fundamental skills to understand the backgrounds, heritage and lifestyles of racially diverse learners. Finally, it is noted that CRT and CMT are essential in addressing racial integration in public secondary schools in Gauteng.

The theoretical perspectives of CRT and CMT provide not only a foundation for the understanding of racial integration of learners, but also insight into the understanding of school management and governance structures, as well as educators' experience in managing and facilitating racial integration in public secondary schools. While the study has fulfilled its aims there were unavoidable limitations such as limited time available to spend with the participants involved in the study and a small sample size at different levels. Nevertheless, the findings are likely to add value to an understanding of racial integration in Gauteng public schools.

 

22. Acknowledgement

This work is based on the research supported by the South African Research Chairs Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation of South Africa. South African Research Chair: Education and Care in Childhood: Faculty of Education: University of Johannesburg South Africa. Grant Number: 87300

 

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Correspondence:
Shantha Naidoo

Published: 30 Mar. 2018

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