Teachers’ perceptions regarding the role of district-based support teams as well as inclusive education teams in establishing inclusive schools

Mfuthwana, Thembeka (2016-03)

Thesis (MEd) --Stellenbosch University, 2016

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : According to the UNESCO document of 1994, the fundamental principle of the inclusive school is that all children should learn together, wherever possible regardless of any difficulties or differences they may have. In the South African context inclusive education was initiated as an integral part of democratisation and transformation of the education system. Within this transformation, certain schools were identified to be established as inclusive schools. These schools should have a continuum of support and services to match the continuum of barriers to learning encountered by every learner. Teachers play one of the most influential roles in the successful establishment of inclusive schools. This study investigates the perceptions of teachers regarding the role of the District Based Support Team (DBST) as well as that of the Inclusive Education Team (IE Team) in establishing inclusive schools. The study’s research methodology can be described as a basic qualitative research which is embedded within an interpretive paradigm. Purposive sampling was used to select six teachers as research participants. Two methods of data collection were used, semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews. Furthermore, qualitative content analysis was employed to analyse data. The analysis revealed that four interconnected themes emerged concerning the teachers’ perspectives regarding the role of the DBST and the IE Team in establishing inclusive schools, namely their self-knowledge regarding the establishment of an inclusive school, perceptions of their role in establishing inclusive schools, the role of the DBST and IE Team as well as the assistance required by the teachers in order to improve their practice. The results suggest that teachers’ outlook should be comprehensively re-orientated in relation to policy-informing documents in the South African context, as well as the policy documents that guide the establishment of inclusive schools. The DBST and the IE Team should engage in structured on-going follow-up support, which should be gradually withdrawn to enable staff to take full responsibility.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Volgens die UNESCO-dokument van 1994 is die fundamentele beginsel van die inklusiewe skool dat alle kinders saam moet leer, waar ook al moontlik, ongeag enige probleme of verskille wat hulle dalk het. In Suid-Afrika is inklusiewe onderwys as 'n onlosmaaklike deel van demokratisering en transformasie van die onderwysstelsel ingevoer. Binne hierdie transformasie is sekere skole aangedui om as inklusiewe skole gevestig te raak. Hierdie skole sou 'n kontinuum van ondersteuning en dienste hê wat sou pas by die kontinuum van struikelblokke tot leer wat deur elke leerder teëgekom word. Onderwysers speel een van die mees invloedryke rolle in die suksesvolle totstandkoming van inklusiewe skole. Hierdie navorsing het die persepsies van onderwysers rakende die rol van die Distriksgebaseerde Ondersteuningspan (DGOS) asook dié van die Inklusiewe Onderwysspan (IO-span) by die totstandkoming van inklusiewe skole-ondersoek. Die navorsingsmetodologie wat gebruik is, kan beskryf word as 'n basiese kwalitatiewe navorsing wat binne 'n interpretatiewe paradigma ingebed is. Doelgerigte steekproeftrekking is gebruik om ses onderwysers as navorsingsdeelnemerstekies. Twee metodes is gebruik om data in te samel: semigestruktureerde onderhoude en fokusgroeponderhoude. Voorts is kwalitatiewe inhoudsanalise aangewend om data te analiseer. Die analise het aangedui dat vier onderling verbinde temas rakende die onderwysers se perspektiewe ten opsigte van die rol van die DGOS en die IO-span by die totstandkoming van inklusiewe skole na vore gekom het, naamlik hulle selfkennis ten opsigte van die totstandkoming van 'n inklusiewe skool, persepsies van hulle rol by die totstandkoming van inklusiewe skole, die rol van die DGOS en IO-span asook die bystand wat deur die onderwysers benodig word ten einde hulle praktyk te verbeter. Die resultate dui daarop dat onderwysers se siening met betrekking tot beleidsinformerende dokumente in Suid-Afrikaanse verband asook die beleidsdokumente wat die totstandkoming van inklusiewe skole moet lei, omvattend geheroriënteer moet word. Die DGOS en die IO-span moet by gestruktureerde voortgesette opvolgondersteuning betrokke raak, wat dan geleidelik onttrek moet word om dit vir personeel moontlik te maak om volle verantwoordelikheid te aanvaar.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98662
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