The establishment of a culture of teaching and learning in disadvantaged high schools is a challenging phenomenon since the inception of the new democratic South Africa. This study attempts to investigate variables contributing towards the establishment of a culture of teaching and learning in high schools. It is revealed through literature study that some investigations into this research topic has already been done in South Africa, but little if none is done in the disadvantaged high schools in the North-West Province, that is the reason why I was prompted to pursue this topic further. The high failure rate in Grade 12 results according to my opinion is a serious concern and is on the lips of every teacher, learner, parent, politician and relevant stakeholders. This high failure rate is, according to the findings from the literature review, caused by factors such as underqualified and unqualified teachers, inadequate resources, over-crowded classrooms, poor infra-structures (buildings), poor socio economic background of learners’ parents, inconducive environment at school and inadequate role played by teachers and learners in the teaching and learning situation. One expects that the majority of disadvantaged schools would have achieved above the 70% as the pass rate benchmark in the final Grade 12 examinations. However, in most schools in the disadvantaged area this is not the case. Based on the above statement and the complexity of the study in consultation with variables employed, I opted to use both quantitative and qualitative research designs with an aim to attempt to obtain consistency, validity and reliability of the research results. The analyses of the results reveal that most disadvantaged schools still experience a poor culture of teaching and learning. This is evidenced by low Grade 12 pass rate results in some of the provinces, including North-West. The research revealed that the variables impacting on the performance of learners at schools are subjected to a complexity of integrated activities many of which are difficult to isolate as predominantly responsible for poor performance as such. What does appear to be an issue of concern is the apparent lack of dedication one would expect from some teachers working with secondary school learners. One could conclude from the many responses that poor achievement is directly linked to poor teaching and that the latter would again be the result of poor qualifications, lack of resources, poor support systems and most important however, a lack of commitment and dedication needed to ensure a professional approach towards classroom management and teaching.
Dissertation (PhD (Curriculum and Instructional Design and Development))--University of Pretoria, 2006.