Document Type Doctoral Thesis Author Pottas, Lidia firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-09072005-105219 Document Title Inclusive education in South Africa : the challenges posed to the teacher of the child with a hearing loss Degree DPhil (Communication Pathology) Department Communication Pathology Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Prof R Hugo Keywords
- inclusion of the child with a hearing loss
- teacher support
- teacher training
- teachers of children with hearing loss
- children with hearing loss
- educational audiologist
- educational audiology
- challenges in inclusive education
- teachers knowledge
- teachers attitudes
- inclusive education
Date 2004-12-04 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe entire context of South African education is undergoing a slow, yet definite metamorphosis, and inclusion is now nationally both a constitutional imperative and an unequivocal reality. Teachers are the key role-players in determining the quality of implementation of this new policy. They are expected to embrace the new philosophy, to think and to work in a new frame of reference. Unfortunately, too often change in education has failed because insufficient attention has been paid to the challenges posed to those who are expected to put the change into effect.
Against this background the aim of this study is to determine the challenges posed to the teacher of the child with a hearing loss in inclusive education. In order to attain this aim, the study was divided into two sections: a literature study and an empirical study.
The literature study offers a review of the development of the inclusive philosophy, with specific reference to the educational inclusion of the child with a hearing loss. The knowledge and attitude of teachers towards inclusive education as well the responsibilities of the teachers of a child with a hearing loss within the South African education system are critically discussed.
During the empirical research a descriptive design was followed comprising of questionnaire surveys followed by focus group discussions. The questionnaire surveys explored the knowledge, attitudes and training needs of 220 teachers and 81 student teachers. Focus group discussions were conducted with four parents, five speech therapist/audiologist and four teachers (all actively involved in inclusion programmes) and these results were used to substantiate findings from the questionnaire survey.
The results of this study indicate that the teachers in regular education as well as the student teachers had sufficient knowledge about the theoretical aspects of inclusion but they lack knowledge regarding the child with a hearing loss. Aspects that were significantly related to the teachers’ lack of knowledge were their unwillingness to include a child with hearing loss and to a lesser extent their years of teaching experience. It was clear that both the teachers and student teachers appear to have negative attitudes towards the inclusion of children with hearing loss. The negative attitudes of the teachers were, as in the case of knowledge, significantly related to their unwillingness to include a child with a hearing loss and their years of teaching experience, but also to their personal experience with hearing loss. The teachers and student teachers indicated specific needs in terms of further training and the content of training. A wide variety of demands that are posed to teachers with regard to the unique South African context were identified, for example lack of support, lack of training, high teacher/child ratios etc.
The implications of this study, which amongst other factors include the motivation for the promotion of educational audiology in order to support and train the teachers of children with a hearing loss in inclusive education, are discussed. The education system is challenged to address the needs of teachers in order to ensure the successful implementation of inclusive education for children with hearing loss.
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