Perceptions of South African teachers on how they feel supported in teaching learners with special educational needs.
By Nozwelo Shanda, Master of Public Health; Jane Kelly, Master of Psychological Research; Associate Professor Judith McKenzie, PhD Humanities
Despite policy commitment, there has been slow progress towards achieving quality education for learners with special educational needs in South Africa. One of the main reasons for this being that teachers do not feel adequately supported in addressing the different and diverse educational needs of these learners (Engelbrecht, Oswald, Swart, & Eloff, 2003; Statistics South Africa, 2011). In this paper we explore the perceptions of teachers in how they feel supported in teaching learners with special educational needs.
Kelly, J. F., McKinney, E. L., & Swift, O. (2020). Strengthening teacher education to support deaf learners. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 1-19.
Deaf learners are among the most disadvantaged when it comes to educational outcomes in South Africa. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to explore the educational needs of learners who are deaf and use the findings as a basis from which to strengthen their education. This research employed a qualitative research design, drawing on interviews with deaf learners, teachers, school management team members (SMTs) and parents. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings reveal that deaf learners have significant difficulty in communicating with their teachers, and that teachers of the deaf in South Africa are not sufficiently trained to understand the educational needs of their learners. Recommendations regarding the strengthening of training for teachers of the deaf are made.