Schooling Spaces of African Migrant Children: Vulnerability, Agency and Resiliency
The research reveals the schooling experiences of African migrant children in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa at a secondary school in the greater Durban metropolitan region. The interviewees were seven African migrant students aged 15–18 . Data were generated through individual interviews, focus group interviews and the participatory method of photovoice. The findings revealed that African migrant students were able to actively evaluate and construct meanings around their experiences within schooling spaces, and were active agents in the construction and negotiation of their own spatialities. Networks of support were formed to create a positive schooling experience. These relationships were rich sources of social capital. While vulnerabilities such as human rights violations, discrimination, social alienation and exclusion were manifest, particularly from their South African peers, participants successfully navigated these and were able to create spatialities in which they could build their agency, resiliency and social power.
Nithi Muthukrishna is a researcher and a faculty member at the School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa). She focuses on teacher education and the design of her research projects are based on the principles of participatory research of school education. The main fields of study are: childrens’ and youth agency in schools, pshological and social vulnerability of schoolchildren and students, social atmosphere of shools and relationships between teachers and students in the flow of teaching process; inclusive education; educational policies and school services
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