Educational needs of over age learners in the foundation phase as viewed by educators

Cairns, Clive John (2001-12)

Thesis (MEd)--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Being over age-for-grade has become a barrier to learning. More than 15% of learners in the South African school system are over age. This creates an enormous problem in terms of education spending per learner. In 1998 South Africa spent one-third of its education budget on over age learners who included repeaters and drop-outs. A clearer understanding of the educational needs of over age learners is needed. These learners are at risk of dropping out, being further retained or being promoted out of the school system. Thus far over age learners have been marginalised by the education system essentially due to the system's inability to deal with them. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to make a contribution to the understanding of the educational needs of over age learners. A qualitative approach provided a clear description of the factors that impact on the educational needs of over age learners. This study revealed the following: • Over age learners experience a sense of being educationally displaced. • The attitudes and beliefs of teachers directly influence their educational responses to the needs of over age learners. • Over age learners struggle with basic scholastic skills. • The provision of support comes primarily from classroom peers. It appears that teachers need a variety of educational skills to deal appropriately with the needs of over age learners. Furthermore, it appears that these learners need an educational space of their own within an inclusive education environment. It would further appear that over age learners need to be acknowledged as being a specific category of learners with learning barriers, otherwise their needs will continue to be marginalised by the educational system.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Dit wil voorkom dat ouderdom 'n leerhindernis vir duisende leerders geword het. Meer as vyftien persent van leerders in die skoolsisteem is oorouderdom. Dit skep 'n probleem in terme van die opvoedingsonkoste per leerder. In 1998 is 'n derde van die Suid Afrikaanse begroting aan oorouderdom leerders gespandeer wat ook herhalers en skoolverlaters insluit. Daar is 'n behoefte aan groter begrip vir die behoeftes van oorouderdom leerders. Daar is 'n risiko dat hierdie leerders skool kan verlaat, terug gehou kan word, of uit die skoolsisteem bevorder kan word. Tot dusver is oorouderdom leerders deur die onderwyssisteem gemarginaliseer hoofsaaklik as gevolg van 'n gebrek aan kennis om hulle effektiefte akkommodeer. Die doel van hierdie studie was om 'n bydrae te lewer tot 'n beter begrip van die opvoedkundige behoeftes van oorouderdom leerders. 'n Kwalitatiewe benadering is verkies wat 'n duidelike beskrywing gee van die opvoedkundige behoeftes van oorouderdom leerders. Die studie het die volgende tendense aan die lig gebring: • Oorouderdom leerders ervaar hulself as misplaas binne die onderwys stelsel. • Opvoeders se houdings en oortuigings het 'n duidelike invloed op hul eie opvoedkundige response ten opsigte van die behoeftes van oorouderdom leerders. • Oorouderdom leerders worstel met basiese skolastiese vaardighede. • Oorouderdom leerders ontvang primêr opvoedkundige ondersteuning van medeleerders. Opvoeders benodig 'n verskeidenheid van opvoedkundige vaardighede om oorouderdom leerders se behoeftes toepaslik te hanteer. Dit blyk dat hierdie leerders 'n behoefte het aan hul eie opvoedkundige ruimte binne 'n inklusiewe omgewing. Daar kan geargumenteer word dat oorouderdom leerders 'n spesifieke kategorie leerders is met eiesoortige leerhindernisse. Indien bogenoemde nie erken word nie sal daar voort gegaan word met die miskenning van oorouderdom leerders se behoeftes deur die opvoedkundige gemeenskap.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52251
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