Original Research

Managing challenging behaviours in Grade 3 learners post-COVID-19

Melissa S. Van Rensburg, Janet L. Condy, Peter K.M. Nyewe
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 14, No 1 | a1517 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v14i1.1517 | © 2024 Melissa S. van Rensburg, Janet L. Condy, Peter K. Nyewe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 January 2024 | Published: 31 May 2024

About the author(s)

Melissa S. Van Rensburg, Department of Research, Faculty of Education, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Janet L. Condy, Department of Research, Faculty of Education, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Peter K.M. Nyewe, Department of Further Education and Training, Faculty of Education, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic exacerbated a global learning crisis with teaching and learning losses, impacting children’s well-being and the management of their behaviours.

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore how four Grade 3 educators managed the behaviours of learners in their classroom post-COVID-19.

Setting: The research was conducted in a quintile 5, full-service urban primary school in Cape Town, South Africa, with a educator -pupil ratio of 1:36. The majority of the learners spoke English, with the minority speaking Afrikaans, isiXhosa and French.

Methods: An interpretivist paradigm, qualitative approach and a case study were used as they allowed the researcher to gain an understanding about challenging behaviour management in Grade 3 post-COVID-19, by exploring multiple educators’ subjective perceptions.

Results: To answer the research question, ‘What types of challenging behaviours are Grade 3 learners exhibiting post-COVID-19 and how are educators managing these challenging behaviours in Grade 3 learners post-COVID-19?’. Three themes emerged: (1) the types of behaviours learners exhibited, (2) their views on proactive and reactive management styles and (3) the challenges experienced by the educators while managing the learners’ behaviours.

Conclusion: The types of behaviours exhibited included: physical, verbal and academic behavioural challenges. Proactive strategies appeared to be the most preferred management strategy of choice with a higher success rate. External factors created difficulties for educators to maintain consistent standards of behaviour management.

Contribution: This research study contributes to the knowledge and field of behaviour management and inclusive education within the Foundation Phase of South African schools post-COVID-19.


Keywords

behaviours; case study; interpretivist; management styles; proactive; qualitative; reactive

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education

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