Primary school principals' perceptions of diverse learning needs in the Thohoyandou area.
- Authors: Shavhani, Ntakadzeni Nkhangweleni
- Date: 2009-02-05T07:15:21Z
- Subjects: Thohoyandou ( South Africa ) , inclusive education , school principals
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:8100 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/2028
- Description: M.Ed. , Education in South Africa is facing dynamic changes since the election of a democratic government in 1994. After some investigations into all aspects of special needs education and support services in education and training in South Africa, it was recommended that a new policy on education for learners with special needs be developed in line with the Constitution of South Africa. The White paper 6: Special Needs Education. Building an Inclusive Education and Training System (Department of Education, 1997), outlines the way forward for South Africa to embrace an inclusive education and training system that allows all learners, including those with special educational needs, to be educated together in age-appropriate ordinary education programs in their neighbourhood schools. The change to inclusion implies a change in the roles of the principals in teaching and management practices. The response made by a particular school to inclusion is intimately bound up with the principal’s perceptions of diverse learning needs. The purpose of this research study was to investigate the primary school principals’ perceptions of diverse learning needs in the Thohoyandou area in the Lompopo province, as they are the people responsible for the successful implementation of inclusion in schools. Qualitative research methods were employed for data collection and analysis. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants. Although participants in this research study were open to accept all learners in their schools, it was found that they lack proper knowledge and skills for educating and working with learners with barriers to learning. Because of their lack of knowledge, the participants’ understanding of diverse learning needs and inclusion varied. Most of the participants’ schools lack the necessary resources for meeting diverse learning needs, and the participants see this as a barrier to the successful implementation of inclusion. The participants in this research study realise that they need to work in collaboration with the educators, learners, other principals and service-providers for inclusion to be successful. They also realise that there has to be changes concerning their roles if diverse learning needs are to be met within their schools. The findings of this research study may be used as a starting point for preparing schools, educators, and especially the principals in the Thohoyandou area, for the successful implementation of inclusion in the area.
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Curriculum adaptation for learners with Down syndrome in the foundation phase.
- Authors: Naude, Tracy Elaine
- Date: 2008-10-21T12:34:57Z
- Subjects: Gauteng (South Africa) , curriculum planning , children with mental disabilities , inclusive education , Down syndrome
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:13059 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1293
- Description: M.Ed. , South Africa has undergone a transformation in the past decade. The year 2004 brings not only ten years of democratic governance, but also an inclusive philosophy of education. It is hoped that difference in whatever form in the ‘new’ South Africa is now acknowledged and celebrated. For many years, learners with Down syndrome were seen as ‘different’, which was synonymous with ‘subnormal’. These learners were initially institutionalized and later placed in special schools to ‘care’ for them. However, following global trends of building inclusive societies, South Africa has had to re-evaluate its education system, resulting in a shift towards an inclusive education system that accepts and supports learners with barriers to learning (including Down syndrome). The aim of this research was to explore curriculum adaptation for learners with Down syndrome in schools, which adhere to inclusive education principles. A case study design was selected since this would allow for an in-depth exploration of how the curriculum is being adapted for learners with Down syndrome. Two cases were used, comprising two primary schools in Gauteng. Parents, principals and educators in the foundation phase were included as participants. Interviews were conducted with the participants and direct observation was conducted in two of the foundation phase classes at the respective schools. This data was complemented by document analysis and data collected during a two-day workshop I attended on inclusive education, focusing on Down syndrome specifically. Within-case analysis and later cross-case analysis were carried out using the constant comparative method of data analysis. Through cross-case analysis a number of themes emerged that are indicative of the course of curriculum adaptation for learners with Down syndrome in the foundation phase. Firstly, there are multifaceted and multidimensional individual considerations pertaining to the learners with Down syndrome, the parents, the educators, the principal and the school that influence curriculum adaptation. Secondly, the process of curriculum adaptation progresses through identifiable chronological steps through lesson planning and lesson implementation. The initial grade planning phase can precede the utilization of the six steps of adaptation activities for learners with Down syndrome. Lastly, classroom management strategies and the deployment of learning assistants are incorporated when adapting the curriculum for learners with Down syndrome, in order to optimise the learning experience for these learners. , Prof. R.E. Swart
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Grandparents' experiences of inclusion at a school in KwaZulu Natal.
- Authors: Ndlovu, Ayanda Pearl
- Date: 2008-10-21T12:34:24Z
- Subjects: grandparents as parents , inclusive education , children with disabilities , grandparent and child , mainstreaming in education , KwaZulu-Natal
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:13014 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1289
- Description: M.Ed. , Few prospective parents expect to have a child with a disability and, even if they are aware of the possibility, very few voice their fears or are prepared for the actual experience. Usually parents have to provide care for the children. However, in a Primary School, in Osizweni, the Newcastle area of Kwa-Zulu Natal, learners come from families in which grandparents are primary the only adult caretakers of young children and also those with disabilities. In 2002 the school started to admit learners with diverse needs, including severe behavioural problems, hearing and visual impairments, severe physical, intellectual and learning disabilities. These learners had not been admitted anywhere else previously, because of their disability. In Osizweni, as indicated above, most learners are no longer in the care of their biological parents but are being looked after by their grandparents. There are a number of reasons for this, some specific to the area and situation, others related to a general transference of responsibility common to the wider context of the extended family in African society. This study is aimed at exploring and describing the experiences of grandparents with grandchildren with disabilities and the inclusion of these learners in a school for the first time. This exploration and description could lead to better understanding of the grandparents and how to assist them to support their grandchildren at school The research was conducted in a qualitative, exploratory and descriptive manner. In-depth interviews were the main source of data collection with observation and field notes as added tools. Discursive, constructionist orientated interviews were used. Four grandparents of learners with disability were interviewed as a target population in the study. The recorded data from interviews and observation provided the information needed. The interviews were conducted in Zulu and the transcribed interviews translated in English. The transcripts were read and the themes observed. Themes and categories were identified, analyzed and discussed according to the data, which were collected and discussed to explore grandparents’ experiences of inclusive education. In analysing the data, seven themes were identified in describing the experiences of grandparents with grandchildren with disabilities and the inclusion of these learners in a school for the first time. These themes were use as a basis to better understanding of the grandparents and how to assist them to support their grandchildren at school. From the interviews it became evident that most grandparents experienced stress and uncertainty when attempting to secure help or specialty services related to the children’s disability and needs. They reported to be low users of existing services but in high need of services and benefits. This indicates discrimination, access, and difficulty in finding placement, knowledge and other barriers with which support services may be of assistance in resolving the problem. The participating grandparents also expressed financial needs and are being haunted by their own health issues and do not have finances for their needs and the needs of their grandchildren. The study also found that grandparents experience many losses as well as deep grief that comes with them and the grandchild being the constant reminder of the situation. Furthermore, the research findings exposed the fact that grandparents regard themselves as parents and have the great support from the community. In the final chapter, recommendations, as well as suggestions for supporting grandparents and the community at large were made. , Mrs. H. Krige
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The role of assistive technology in inclusive education.
- Authors: Naidoo, Deanan
- Date: 2008-10-21T12:02:03Z
- Subjects: inclusive education , self-help devices for people with disabilities , learning disabled children
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:12981 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1286
- Description: M.Ed. , Every child has the right to education regardless of race, religion, colour, creed, or ability or disability. Learners with disability experienced great difficulty in gaining access to education (Department of Education, 2001:9). It is therefore imperative that such inequalities be amended and the process of 'education for all" accelerated. In a foreign country such as the USA for example, “Calls for educational reform” and “school restructuring” within the educational community are echoed in media, in state legislatures and in local schools. Questions regarding the effectiveness of current educational systems approaches to educating an increasing diverse student population are raised. The concept of “inclusive school practices” is discussed as a philosophical basis for reconstructing the manner in which schools are organized to meet the needs of all learners” (Sands, Kozleski & French, 2000:1-4). As teachers alter their instructional methods in response to student diversity in South Africa, they also need to change their practices in response to other social, political and economic conditions. Information Technology (IT) has expanded both the amount of information we access and the ways we access it (Dede, 1989:4). Changes in the world necessitate changes in what and how students are taught. , Prof. D. Van der Westhuizen
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Support offered by school-based teams: experiences of foundation phase teachers in Tshwane North.
- Authors: Mphahlele, Maletolo Lillian
- Date: 2008-10-14T11:24:56Z
- Subjects: shool support teams , training of primary school teachers , inclusive education , learning disabilities
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:12061 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1180
- Description: M.Ed. , According to White paper 6 all children can learn, should be supported to learn and assured of equal and equitable education. It further states that educational structures should be adapted to accommodate all learners in mainstream schools. Thus if the system fails to meet the different needs of a wide range of learners, the learner or the system may be prevented from being able to engage in or sustain an ideal process of learning. Those factors which lead to the inability of the system to accommodate diversity, which lead to the breakdown or which prevent learners from accessing educational provision, have been conceptualised as barriers to learning and development. A school-based support team may serve as one way of maximizing the participation of learners experiencing barriers to learning and development. The purpose of this study was to investigate foundation phase teachers’ experiences of the support provided by the school-based support team (SBST) and to formulate guidelines for the training of the SBST’s. A case study design was chosen since this would allow for in depth exploration of how foundation phase teachers experience the support offered by the SBST’s. One primary school was chosen randomly and foundation phase teachers purposively included as participants. Interviews were conducted, document analysis undertaken and direct observations done in two foundation phase classes. The collected data were analysed and categorised with the use of the constant comparative method. From the analysis of the data it became apparent that there is little or no collaboration between foundation phase teachers and the school-based support team. It was also evident that the school-based support team lacks knowledge regarding the identification of barriers to learning and designing intervention strategies for teachers to support learners in the classrooms. Lastly, it was clear that foundation phase teachers are collaborating with each other by sharing ideas on how to give support to learners experiencing learning barriers in their classrooms. , Dr. M.P. van der Merwe
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The implementation of an institutional support team in a rural primary school in KwaZulu-Natal.
- Authors: Mbatha, Philile Nomusa
- Date: 2008-10-14T07:07:38Z
- Subjects: KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) , primary education , parent-teacher relationships , inclusive education , school management teams
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:11902 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1162
- Description: The purpose of this study is to explore the implementation of an IST in a rural primary school of Northern KZN. The ISTs within an inclusive education context have not existed in the said area, due in part to the way the district support structure was implemented. Previously, the main focus had been on psycho-educational assessment, which was done in a more traditional way, with no specific interventions after assessment. This, however, was not in accordance with the ex-KwaZulu Department of Education modus operandi. Although the Education Support Services (ESS) of the past era provided some support for learners with barriers to learning in Northern KZN, it was not enough. The research site is nestled in a valley amidst rocky land in Northern Zululand, with sparsely populated communities around the school. Acculturation, that is the absorption of other cultures, prevails among the local people, with influences noticeable in some community houses being built in the semi-urban style of neighbouring Swaziland and Mozambique. However, the majority of the community continue to live in traditional houses and the area still operates as a subsistence economy. This is evident along the roadsides, where there are a number of informal small business sites from which the local community sell their wild fruits, arts, crafts and/or firewood to passers-by, including tourists. Many learners assist their parents with these sales after school, over weekends and on public holidays. Some have large fields for growing vegetables, mealies and other crops. It is significant that the majority of the community is illiterate, with this becoming a challenge to the school because the same parents are expected to support their children with their schoolwork, as well as participating in the school activities. The cooperation between the home and the school should be improved, as many learners are not staying with their natural parents but with members of the extended family, including their grandparents. For much of the time these guardians (grandparents and care-givers) have their own personal commitments. The School Governing Body (SGB), including parent representatives, is instrumental in improving educator-parent relationships. , Mrs. O.R. Pettipher
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Managing the implication of inclusion in schools.
- Authors: Maphula, Madumi Freddy
- Date: 2008-10-14T07:05:37Z
- Subjects: school management teams , school management and organization , inclusive education , Soweto ( South Africa )
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:11763 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1148
- Description: M.Ed. , The problem in this research lied in the lack of clear guidelines, training and resources in the management of the implementation of inclusion in schools. The research’s aim was to provide guidelines for the School Management Teams in managing the implementation of inclusion in schools. This will be achieved through a qualitative research method. The qualitative research included descriptive and exploratory research methods. The researcher collected data using multiple means of data collection, namely, interviews, survey and observations. The selection comprised of the members of the School Management Teams – the school principal, deputy principal, two Heads of Department and three teachers from each of the five selected schools. The interpretations of data led to the research findings, recommendations and the conclusion. The findings of the study described the participants’ perceptions and experiences of the management of the implementation of inclusion as a process for school improvement. The perceptions and the experiences of the teachers and the principals suggested that the participants had limited understanding, knowledge and skills in managing and implementing inclusion in schools. Thus guidelines for managing the implementation of inclusion were provided. In addition, guidelines for the educational psychologists that could facilitate the successful management of the implementation of inclusion were developed. , Dr. B.V. Nduna
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The needs of parents of children with hearing impairments in a mainstream school.
- Authors: Ameen, Nausheen
- Date: 2008-06-23T10:54:50Z
- Subjects: parent participation , inclusive education , parents of deaf children , hearing impaired children's education
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:3328 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/672
- Description: This study focuses on the needs of parents of learners with hearing impairments in a mainstream school. Since 1994, South African society has undergone massive changes informed by the Constitution based on a human rights perspective. The ultimate aim is an inclusive society based on the principles of democracy. The educational system has been transformed from one which supported exclusivity and inequalities on the basis of language, colour and ability to one which embraces diversity and inclusivity. The release of Education White Paper 6: Building an Inclusive Education and Training System (Department of Education, 2001) was the culmination of a process of restructuring of the education system to cater for all learners. Engelbrecht & Green (2001:6) emphasise that inclusive education is not about how to assimilate individual learners with identified special needs into existing forms of schooling, but about restructuring schools and education systems so that they can accommodate the learning needs of every individual. The new dispensation has made it possible for parents to assume the role of partners in education. Although School Governing Bodies have been established, parents still need a lot of support in order to play a meaningful role. In the case of parents of learners with hearing impairments in mainstream schools, there is a lot of ground that must still be covered in terms of their needs. In carrying out this research, an exploratory, descriptive, contextual and qualitative design was undertaken to find out what type of support is needed by parents who have children with hearing impairments in a mainstream school. Interviews were conducted with parents who have children with hearing impairments. During the interviews, ethical measures were adhered to and steps to ensure trustworthiness were also followed. Data were analysed and distinctive patterns of concerns emerged from the data, relating to the type of support parents needed. The findings indicate that in terms of the needs of parents of learners with hearing impairments in mainstream schools, Parent-school Partnerships; Capacity Building; Support Processes, Support and Networking; and Shared Decision-making were aspects identified by parents that had to be addressed. Based on the findings, it is recommended that schools lead the process, and that education officials be involved at all levels. The establishment of parent support groups will enable parents to be active agents of change in addressing their needs. District officials, governmental sectors, as well as community organizations serving the interests of learners who have hearing impairments, need to provide expertise and support for parents in starting and maintaining these processes. , Prof. R.E. Swart
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