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ERIC Number: EJ1153918
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Aug
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0256-0100
Adolescent Identity Formation in the Context of Vocationally Oriented Special Needs Schools
Jacobs, Carmelita; Collair, Lynette
South African Journal of Education, v37 n3 Article 1249 Aug 2017
Adolescence is a phase that is associated with important identity-relevant issues. Shaping a clear sense of identity is an important step in developing a healthy psychosocial disposition, and the school is an important context where this can happen. In this article, we explore how adolescents who had attended a special needs school of skills in the Western Cape, South Africa, perceived the role that their school experiences played in shaping their sense of identity. These were learners who entered the school of skills with a poor sense of self, due to years of academic difficulties and exclusion in mainstream primary schools. Using a qualitative research design, data was collected through interviews, and analysed by means of the inductive process of thematic content analysis. The findings showed that participants' school experiences shaped their sense of identity in a more positive way. The participants' narratives speak to the complexity in the individual, the school and the community in contributing to a sense of identity with both positive and negative aspects. Though the participants experienced a sense of belonging and felt accepted by their teachers and peers, the school did not deliver on its implicit promise of a job-related skill, and this in turn negatively affected their thinking about future life paths and careers, which is important for identity formation.
Education Association of South Africa. University of Pretoria, Centre for the Study of Resilience, Level 3, Groenkloof Student Centre, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, George Storrar Road and Lleyds Street, Pretoria 0001, South
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A