The influence of ecosystemic factors on Black student teachers’ perceptions and experiences of Early Childhood Education

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Publication Year
[ private ] 
164 p. 
Early childhood education, Higher education, Black student teachers, Experiences, Perceptions, Ecosystemic factors, South Africa 
Series Name
Post-1994 welcomed political transformation in South Africa which also brought about change in the educational sector since Black students had access to former White universities. Contrary to the growing number of Black students, the impetus for this study was found in the short supply of Black student teachers in ECE. Moreover, this study attempted to investigate how ecosystemic factors influenced the low enrolment of Black student teachers as well as their perceptions and experiences of the ECE programme at a former White university. The study was conducted from a qualitative, case study approach. The various data collection techniques, such as photo voice, narratives, semi-structured interviews and a focus group interview with five final year student teachers yielded the following results: Various ecosystemic factors influenced Black student teachers’ perceptions and experiences of ECE. First, the history of education in South Africa has had a detrimental effect on the experiences and perceptions of Black students in ECE, as well as a negative influence on the status of ECE. Second, Black students are under-prepared for their studies at tertiary level which results in negative academic experiences for the students, as well as a high dropout rate. Third, and most recurrently, it was evident that economic circumstances affect Black student teachers in terms of academic status, support offered by the HEI and enrolment into ECE teacher training. Fourth, societal factors such as the communities’ perception of, and the low regard that they hold for ECE, influenced Black students’ decisions to consider this phase of teaching as a career. Finally, personal factors, unique to each individual Black student teacher, influenced their perceptions and experiences of ECE. 
Dissertation (MEd)--University of Pretoria 
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