The primary purpose of the study was to empirically explore the impact of internal and external variables on subject choices made by a group of Black South African government school pupils in Ga-Rankuwa circuit in the North West Province. From the literature point of view it was evident that there are different orientations which influence subject choice and academic achievement of learners. Learners who are mastery/learning-oriented want to develop their competence through the choice of challenging tasks and perform better. Ego/performance-oriented learners interested in demonstrating to others that they are capable, therefore turn to choose easy tasks and they do not perform as well. Mastery-oriented learners attribute their success to internal stable variables like ability or effort (an unstable but controllable cause), and experience high levels of self-efficacy and pride. Ego-oriented learners attribute both failure and success to stable but uncontrollable cause (such as ability or teaching methods), and experience shame and decreased self-efficacy in the event of failure. My ultimate conclusion is drawn from the study I examined by the HSRC differentiated education blueprint. Although the document emphasized the importance of meeting the needs of both the individual, and the manpower requirements of the country, findings in the present study implied that the sort of inhibitors operating in the subject choice context, were in no way contributing to the fulfilment of these aims. The organization of the school curriculum, school zoning procedures, gender and achievement stereotypes, all served to compromise pupils' subject preferences and subject choice differentially. These dictated both the academic bias and gender bias of the subject field choice, and therefore, the resultant social status of the choice. The educationally questionable subject choice criteria used by pupils, and the faulty guidance they received, did not assist much to maximize their unique potential.
Dissertation (MEd (Educational Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2005.