Secondary school teachers’ experiences of learning support

Hannah, Julia Elizabeth (2015-03)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Secondary school teachers are faced daily with many challenges when supporting learners with diverse needs. These challenges can influence their ability to perform their role of supporting such learners in the classroom. Even though learning support in the secondary school is a complex multi-level phenomenon, teachers are expected to ensure that all the learners reach their full potential. The aim of this study was to explore and describe secondary school teachers’ experiences of supporting learners with diverse needs in challenging circumstances. Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological model framed the research enquiry. Proximal processes and their related concepts were used as tools to explore and describe the teachers’ approach to learning support in a secondary school. Since this study was an exploration of a phenomenon qualitative research methods were applied. The research methods added rich information using various techniques. These included an activity in which the teachers reflected on their experiences, individual semi-structured interviews, a focus group interview, research questions and narrative discussions with participants. The data collected was analysed using the method of constant comparison. Findings from the analysed data revealed the teachers’ concerns and the challenges they faced in their classrooms while supporting their learners. Although they described these challenges and adverse circumstances as barriers, they nevertheless appeared as caring, confident professionals who had both the potential and the desire to advance their own development and to carry out effective learning support. Against this background, the teachers’ own needs, whether emotional, social, cognitive or developmental, were vital to their ability to support effective learning in the classroom.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hoërskool onderwysers is daagliks betrokke by leerders met diverse behoeftes en die uitdagings wat daarmee gepaard gaan. Hierdie uitdagings het ʼn daadwerklike uitwerking op ʼn onderwyser se talle rolle tydens ondersteuning van leer by leerders. Alhoewel leerondersteuning in die hoërskool as kompleks, ongewoon en met verskeie fasette ervaar word, word daar van onderwysers verwag om alle leerders te ondersteun. Die doel met hierdie studie was om onderwysers se ervarings van leerondersteuning van die diverse leerbehoefte in uitdagende kontekse te ondersoek. Hierdie ervaring sluit in hoe ervare onderwysers in uitdagende omstandighede kinders ondersteun in die klaskamer. Bronfenbrenner se bio-ekologiese teorie verleen die raamwerk vir die studie. Gevolglik is verwante proksimale prosesse en konsepte gebruik sodat onderwysers se ervarings van leerondersteuning verstaan kan word. Aangesien hierdie studie ʼn verkennende ondersoek was, is kwalitatiewe navorsingsmetodes gebruik. Die navorsingsmetodes het verseker dat waardevolle inligting ingewin word deur die gebruik van tegnieke soos: ʼn refleksie-aktiwiteit, individuele onderhoude, ʼn fokusgroeponderhoud, ʼn oopvraelys en narratiewe bespreking van deelnemers. Die konstante vergelykende metode is gebruik om die data te ontleed. Bevindinge van die geanaliseerde data het die onderwysers se bekommernisse en uitdagings, rakende hul ervarings tydens ondersteuning, aan die lig gebring. Alhoewel die onderwysers hul uitdagings en moeilike omstandighede as hindernisse tydens ondersteuning van leer ervaar, gee hulle om, voel selfversekerd en tree professioneel op. Hulle toon die potensiaal en hunkering na eie ontwikkeling, ten einde effektiewe leerondersteuning te kan bied. Dit is teen hierdie agtergrond duidelik dat onderwysers die belangrikste ondersteuners in die klaskamer is. Daarom is die onderwysers se emosionele, sosiale, kognitiewe en self-ontwikkeling van die uiterste belang vir leerders se effektiewe leerervarings.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96970
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