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Abstract

The social ecology of resilience perspective sees resilience as the capacity of individuals to negotiate and navigate their pathways towards the resources that sustain well-being, the capacity of the individual’s physical and social ecologies to provide resilience resources, and the capacity of individuals, families and communities to negotiate culturally meaningful ways to share health-promoting resources. This means that resilience is a process that involves an individual’s own assets or strengths as well as those found in his or her physical social and ecology. Inclusive education, on the other hand, is a discipline that allows learners whose socio-economic circumstances, physical disability or poverty has become a barrier to their educational success to influence the outcome of the process of teaching and learning positively. This qualitative study of resilience and inclusion, which adopted structuration theory as a lens, was conducted in order to understand the resilience of three learners who achieved educational success in the face of great personal adversity. The participants wrote narratives on what enabled them to cope resiliently and the narratives were analysed in terms of a critical inductive and a structuration theory framework. The main findings show that resilience is an important process that allows learners with barriers to learning to do well. The participants benefited from personal attributes such as a sense of agency, assertiveness, determination and self-confidence, as well as from social and academic support from their families, peers and teachers within an inclusive educational context.


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