An ethnographic study of the learning practices of grade 6 students in an urban township school in the Western Cape: a sociological perspective
Du Plooy (Mocke), Lucinda Lucille
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The study's main starting premises is that there is a disjuncture between the rich educational engagements of these students in their environmental space and how their learning practices are framed, informed and positioned in the institutional space. My study is underpinned by an interpretivist paradigm in terms of which I set out to describe and understand the meanings that the student respondents assign to their learning practices when they are involved in discursive practices of speaking, knowing, doing, reading and writing. Qualitative research instruments: field notes, participant and non-participant observations and formal and informal interviews were used in order to answer my research question and achieve the desired research aims of this thesis. The findings are presented in a narrative format after deriving at categories and themes using narrative analysis. Finally, my research shows how these students are positioned in and by their lived spaces (whether environmental or institutional) in specific ways, and they, based on their own resources, networks and interactions, and by exercising their agency, actively construct their own spaces of learning. I describe these active constructions by these students as their 'conceptual space of learning' to highlight the complex ways in which they go about to establish their learning practices in their lived spaces. The study provides an analysis of the basis upon which each of these four students go about constructing their learning practices.