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The Vocational Calling of Female Primary School Teachers Teaching in Environments of Multiple Deprivation

Hettie Van der Merwe


A context of multiple deprivation poses challenges to teaching and learning. This article explores the vocational calling of female teachers teaching in multiple-deprived circumstances in South Africa. Based on a qualitative investigation, individual interviews were conducted with 12 female teachers from primary schools in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and North West. The aim was to understand what the factors are that define female teacher existence in a school context of multiple deprivation. The findings show that female teacher conduct in such conditions relates to being a mother figure to the core, being a fundraiser to arrange resources for learners, and being a social worker in the parent community. These tasks are achieved through responding jointly to the learning needs of learners exposed to absolute poverty. The findings contribute to the discourse on teacher input to successful learning.


ability goal; absolute poverty; habitus; holistic education; mastery goal; relational goal

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