Browsing by Author "Dreyer, Lorna M."
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- ItemConstraints to quality education and support for all : a Western Cape case(Education Association of South Africa, 2017) Dreyer, Lorna M.In its vision for education, the National Planning Commission (2011:264) of South Africa states that “all children can access and benefit from high quality education” through flexible services which are available, accessible and responsive to the needs of children, and that “specific consideration will be given to the most vulnerable children – those who live in poverty or with disabilities”. As an emerging economy, South Africa is faced with the challenge of implementing the policy aimed at realising this vision. This paper highlights the plight of learners who have been identified as having high-level support needs and who are waiting for special school placement. Data was collected through questionnaires and semi-structured focus group interviews. In total, 371 participants were involved in this research. Forty-one learning support teachers were purposefully selected, and 165 mainstream teachers were systematically selected from within a specific education district of the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The findings imply that the needs of learners on waiting lists are grossly neglected in mainstream classrooms. Teachers generally feel ill equipped to provide adequate support. Various other contextual factors exacerbate this situation. This article offers some practical recommendations in pursuit of moving beyond a discourse of justification to debate the implementation of inclusive education that will benefit all learners, including learners with high-level support needs.
- ItemDigital storytelling to engage postgraduates in reflective practice in an emerging economy(Education Association of South Africa, 2017) Dreyer, Lorna M.Many emerging economies are just beginning to consume digital content meaningfully. In the field of education in particular, such technology could help to narrow the gap between teacher training and the expectations of a post-colonial, post-apartheid education system in an emerging economy. However, it is important that the use of technology in education be guided by sound pedagogical principles. Digital storytelling is not a new concept and is now part of the academic mainstream. It is increasingly recognised for its contribution to reflective practice, essential for professional development. This qualitative research aimed to introduce postgraduates to the value of reflective practice through digital storytelling. The study is located in a social constructivist paradigm. Data was collected through digital stories, individual written reflections, and focus group reflections. Data analysis involved coding, categorising and the identification of emerging themes. The findings established that pedagogical knowledge alone cannot prepare teachers to offer meaningful learning opportunities for all learners. Digital storytelling, however, can be incorporated in teacher training programmes in order to foster a culture of reflective practice for professional development.
- ItemAn evaluation of a Learning Support Model in Primary Schools in the West Coast/Winelands Area(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2008-12) Dreyer, Lorna M.; Engelbrecht, P.; Swart, E.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Psychology.Research indicates that the success of inclusive education lies within the provision of adequate support for learners who experience barriers to learning in mainstream schools as well as in the changing roles of teachers and support services staff. In South Africa, the provincial Western Cape Education Department (WCED) responded to the implementation of inclusive education by introducing a learning support model that was designed to systemically deal with barriers to learning in some primary schools in the province. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the learning support model that was introduced in some primary schools in the Western Cape with specific reference to schools within the West Coast/Winelands district. The evaluation was located in a comprehensive mixed methods research design, which focused on the evaluation of both process and outcomes of the learning support model. The evaluation was done sequentially in three phases: Phase one consisted of a comprehensive literature review. Phase two focused on both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis (through questionnaires containing both closed- and open-ended questions). The focus in Phase three was on follow up semi-structured focus group interviews. The participants were drawn from all primary schools situated within the boundaries of the West Coast/Winelands district and where the services of a learning support teacher (full-time or itinerant) were available. While learning support teachers were selected through purposive sampling, mainstream teachers were systematically selected. The four primary schools and learning support teachers that participated in the focus group interviews were systematically selected. Findings indicate that the current learning support model used in the West Coast/Winelands area does not provide effective learning support to all learners experiencing barriers to learning in mainstream primary schools. Constraints that contribute to this situation can be identified on all levels of the education system including the macro and micro systems. By mapping the findings from the data against the literature review, the researcher recommends that the provision of learning support should be addressed systemically from within a whole-school approach, taking into account local contextual factors impacting on the school. In conclusion a model for the improvement of learning support service delivery within a wholeschool approach is provided.