The experiences of teachers in including learners with intellectual disabilities

Ellman, Basil (2004-12)

Thesis (MEd)--University of Stellenbosch, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In South Africa,' including learners with disabilities has been a concern in education since 1994. With children with disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, being increasingly included in mainstream schools, consideration needs to be given to the experiences of teachers in inclusive classrooms. Since an understanding of teachers' experiences can lead to the development of support strategies, this study sets out to explore teachers' experiences. The research design of this research is qualitative in nature and the unit of analysis is an inclusive school in the Western Cape. Data are collected through semistructured interviews, field notes and a review of school records. Interviews are held with three teachers, the school principal, the governing body chairperson (parent) and four learners. The data are analyzed using aspects of the constant comparative analysis. Three main themes, namely school factors, the learner with an intellectual disability and the role of the teachers emerge. Findings indicate that the learner with an intellectual disability can be effectively included if the school community (teachers, parents and learners) is informed and thoroughly prepared. There must also be a willingness on the part of all the role players to make a success of the inclusive process. An analysis of the experiences of teachers in this study indicates that the demands put on teachers and learners alike are challenging and that teachers need support regarding in-service training on specific strategies for successfully including learners with intellectual disabilities. An effective and collaborative support system can also provide teachers with the necessary support to approach inclusive education in a positive manner.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die insluiting van leerders met leergestremdhede is sedert 1994 'n brandpunt in die onderwys in Suid-Afrika. Aangesien kinders met gestremdhede, waaronder ook intellektuele gestremdhede, al hoe meer in hoofstroomskole ingesluit word, moet aandag geskenk word aan die ervarings van onderwysers in sulke inklusiewe klaskamers. Hierdie studie poog om die relevante ervarings van onderwysers te ontgin, aangesien 'n analise van sulke onderwyserservarings kan lei tot die ontwikkeling van ondersteuningstrategieë. Die navorsingsontwerp van hierdie studie is kwalitatief van aard, en die analiseeenheid is 'n inklusiewe skool in die Weskaap. Data is versamel deur middel van semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude, veldnotas en 'n oorsig van skoolrekords. Onderhoude is gevoer met drie onderwysers, die skoolhoof, die voorsitter van die beheerliggaam ('n ouer), asook vier leerders. Die data is geanaliseer deur aspekte van die 'constant comparative analysis' te gebruik. Drie temas, nl. skoolfaktore, die leerder met intellektuele gestremdhede, en die rol van die onderwysers, kom duidelik na vore. Die bevindinge bewys dat 'n leerder met intellektuele gestremdhede effektief ingesluit kan word in 'n hoofstroomskool, indien die skoolgemeenskap (onderwysers, ouers en leerders) ingelig en deeglik voorberei word. AI die rolspelers moet ook 'n gewilligheid openbaar om die inklusiewe proses suksesvol te maak. Die analise van die ervarings van onderwysers wat in hierdie studie gebruik is, maak dit duidelik dat die eise wat aan beide onderwysers en leerders gestel word, formidabel is; en dat onderwysers ondersteuning nodig het wat betref indiens-opleiding m.b.t. spesifieke strategieë vir die suksesvolle insluiting van leerders met intellektuele gestremdhede. 'n Effektiewe en onderling-ondersteunende sisteem kan ook die onderwyser van die nodige

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