Original Research

The educational and psychological support of educators to include learners from childheaded

Nadia Taggart
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 1, No 2 | a98 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v1i2.98 | © 2011 Nadia Taggart | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 May 2014 | Published: 31 December 2011

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Nadia Taggart, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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The purpose of this study was to comprehensively capture teachers’ classroom experiences and establish what educational and psychological support would help them as they were trying to include learners from child-headed homes in their
classrooms and schools. The sample of teachers from two different Gauteng districts included members from the school management and school-based support teams. Data were collected through individual and focus group interviews, in addition to collages made by the teachers, survey questionnaires in which they were respondents, observations of their practice and concomitant field notes. Firstly, the findings indicate that teachers are not always aware that learner’s are orphans or head their own households. They do not know how to assist learners in coping with the effects of orphanhood, which include: increased learning difficulties, incomplete schoolwork,
failure to participate, school absenteeism, hunger, concentration difficulties, signs of sexual abuse, and accelerated adulthood. The efforts of teachers to create supportive learning environments include; impartial treatment, learning support provision, accessing support services and meeting their learners’ basic needs for food, clothing, love, belonging, reassurance, motivation and encouragement.


child-headed families, educators, educational and psychological support


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