Title page for ETD etd-02092012-142013

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Erasmus, Wilma
Email juffrou007@yahoo.co.uk
URN etd-02092012-142013
Document Title Exploring quality and diversity : the role of the teacher in a class of diverse learners
Degree MEd
Department Science Mathematic and Technology Education
Advisor Name Title
Dr V Scherman Co-Supervisor
Prof S Vandeyar Supervisor
  • learners
  • teachers
  • role of a teacher
  • diversity
  • inclusive education
  • cooperative learning
  • quality assurance
  • quality education
Date 2012-04-18
Availability unrestricted
The advent of democracy has witnessed radical changes in the demographic constitution of the learner population in schools. Many teachers now encounter classes that comprise learners from diverse racial, ethnic, religious and language backgrounds. How do these teachers ensure quality education in such a class of diverse learners? Accordingly, this research study set out to explore quality and diversity in a class of diverse learners with particular emphasis on the role of the teacher. The meta-theoretical paradigm that directed it was a combination of constructivism and interpretivism. The methodological paradigm employed a qualitative mode of inquiry and various sampling techniques to select the participants. Convenience sampling was used to select three schools, two classes per school and five learners per teacher, while purposive sampling were used to select two teachers per school. A mix of instruments was used to collect the data, such as semistructured interviews, observations, field notes and a researcher journal. Findings from this study were fivefold. First, the training that teachers received with regard to diversity is insufficient and does not prepare them to teach a class of diverse learners. Second, the role of the teacher is complex and requires them to fulfil more than one role at a time; even though some roles are neglected, the majority of teachers focus on the role of facilitator. More emphasis should be placed on the importance of the roles and how they can contribute to quality in education. Third, teachers must follow an asset-based approach in a class of diverse learners. By using difference as a resource and an asset, teachers will be able to encourage open class discussions, involve learners in the lesson, keep their attention and use this to promote their understanding about complex topics and terms. Fourth, teachers have to make certain adjustments to their teaching style to accommodate diverse learners. It is important for all teachers to examine their own attitudes towards teaching diverse learners in order to provide the best education possible. Finally, certain quality assurance methods are in place at schools, but just how appropriate they are is debatable. New approaches must be developed and utilized to meet the needs of the current social context in South Africa to ensure that quality teaching takes place at schools.

2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Erasmus, W 2011, Exploring quality and diversity : the role of the teacher in a class of diverse learners, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-02092012-142013 / >


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