Original Research

Inclusion of learners with learning disabilities in the Vaal Triangle mainstream classrooms

Nilford Hove, Nareadi T. Phasha
African Journal of Disability | Vol 12 | a1163 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v12i0.1163 | © 2023 Nilford Hove, Nareadi T. Phasha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 October 2022 | Published: 12 June 2023

About the author(s)

Nilford Hove, Department of Education, Faculty of Inclusive Education, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Nareadi T. Phasha, Department of Education, Faculty of Inclusive Education, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: South Africa adopted a policy on inclusive education in 2001 to ensure that all learners are accommodated and accepted in the classrooms despite their differences.

Objectives: This study was aimed at exploring the inclusion of learners with learning disabilities in mainstream primary schools for teaching and learning.

Method: This study followed a qualitative approach embedded in a descriptive phenomenological design. Data were generated through in-depth interviews with individual participants and were analysed thematically for content. Six teachers from six different mainstream primary school classrooms were purposefully selected for the study.

Results: Findings revealed that overcrowding, time constraints and lack of parental involvement impede the inclusion of learners with learning disabilities in mainstream classrooms. However, teachers use: (1) multi-level teaching, (2) concrete teaching and/or learning aids, (3) differentiated instruction and (4) code-switching in accommodating learners with learning disabilities.

Conclusion: This study argues that for learners with learning disabilities to be more included in mainstream classrooms, the learner population should be reduced to a maximum of 30 learners per class, and collaboration with parents should be enhanced. Also, the arrangement of learners for teaching and learning could be limited to small groups consisting of four to five learners. Multi-level teaching and differentiated instruction should be applied in settings that do not require learners to be separated from their peers without learning disabilities.

Contribution: This study will help improve teachers’ inclusive classroom pedagogical practices for all learners including those with learning disabilities.


Keywords

inclusive education; mainstream classrooms; learners with learning disabilities; multi-level teaching; differentiated instruction; parental involvement; code switching.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

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Crossref Citations

1. Challenges of competency-based curriculum in teaching learners with learning disabilities
Jabulani Mpofu, Maximus M. Sefotho
African Journal of Disability  vol: 13  year: 2024  
doi: 10.4102/ajod.v13i0.1268