Title page for ETD etd-06062011-140653


Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Gumede, Msongelwa John
Email gumede.m@dhet.gov.za
URN etd-06062011-140653
Document Title How inclusivity, integration and equity are incorporated in the teaching of life sciences in inclusive schools
Degree PhD
Department Science, Mathematics and Technology Education
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof W J Fraser Supervisor
Keywords
  • curriculum differentiation
  • district support team
  • observation
  • co-operative learning
  • index for inclusion
  • equity
  • integration
  • inclusivity
  • advance science process skills
  • basic science process skills
  • curriculum adaptation
  • visual impairment
  • assistive technology
Date 2011-04-04
Availability restricted
Abstract
This research aimed at exploring how inclusivity, integration and equity are incorporated in the teaching of Life Sciences in the inclusive schools where learners with visual impairment attend. The issues of integration, i.e. being part of the learner population, full participation and acceptance, is a strategy for fostering integration; the issue of equity, i.e. reasonable accommodation relating to assistive technology, accessibility of learning material and access to learning activities in the classroom, as a strategy for equalization of learning opportunities in the classroom; as well as the issue of inclusivity, i.e. adaptation of learning material curriculum adaptation and curriculum differentiation, a strategy for ensuring learning experience formed the core of the research. This research took place in the Mpumalanga province. In this study teachers were interviewed in order to explore their views on how they incorporate integration, equity and inclusivity when teaching Life Sciences to learners with visual impairment in the inclusive schools. Further, it was to determine what influences these have on their daily work. District officials were also interviewed to explore their views on the support they provide to these schools and to establish how the lessons learnt from this experience could be implemented to the advantage of learners with visual impairment in the inclusive schools elsewhere in South Africa.

Teachers and district officials were interviewed through the use of the Qualitative Inquiry methodology as well as its techniques and strategies for data gathering. Analysis of the transcripts resulted in the development of themes/codes discussed in the research study.

Teachers depict limited exposure to Education White Paper 6 and their understanding of Education White Paper does not translate into useful instrument that equips them to address the enormous challenges posed by the nature of the subject Life Sciences for the blind and visually impaired learners in the inclusive schools. Their endeavour to teach these learners is extensively theoretical and the blind and visually impaired learners are not equipped with basic science processing skills and as such learners who are blind miss out on developing advance science process skills that are indispensable for learning the subject Life Sciences. There is very limited tactile learning material on Life Sciences to provide adequate and crucial experience for learners. Accessible teaching and learning resources are but limited as well thus hampering teaching and learning in the classroom.

Inclusive schooling offers enormous opportunities for both learners with visual impairment and those without such impairment to learn to live, support, respect and understand each other as equal members of society. The strategy adopted in the inclusive classroom that is most successful is co-operative learning. The sighted learners describe and tell the blind learners what happens when the experiment is done or when there is an activity that requires observation through vision. This is what most teachers depend on. They are not trained on the education of the blind and as such they marginalize their blind and visually impaired learners. Inclusive schooling will be an iridescent dream if Life Sciences teachers are not equipped with adequate and relevant skills and competencies that are required in Life Sciences to teach the blind and visually impaired learners in the inclusive schools; if there are no Life Sciences resource and support for both learners and teachers by the education system.

2010 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:

Gumede, MJ 2010, How inclusivity, integration and equity are incorporated in the teaching of life sciences in inclusive schools, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06062011-140653/ >

D11/161/ag

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