Original Research

Teaching learners with autism in the South African inclusive classroom: Pedagogic strategies and possibilities

Moleli Nthibeli, Dominic Griffiths, Tanya Bekker
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a979 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.979 | © 2022 Moleli Nthibeli, Dominic Griffiths, Tanya Bekker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 November 2021 | Published: 30 June 2022

About the author(s)

Moleli Nthibeli, Faculty of Humanities, Wits School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Dominic Griffiths, Faculty of Humanities, Wits School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Tanya Bekker, Faculty of Humanities, Wits School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Although inclusive education is widely discussed, its implementation has not, arguably, been far-reaching. There remains a lack of specific, targeted approaches towards fully including learners with physical and mental impairments in the educational space.

Objectives: This study investigated the extent of the inclusion of learners with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in three schools in Johannesburg.

Method: A qualitative interpretivist design was adopted. Teachers who work with learners with ASD were interviewed using open-ended questions. The sampled data were analysed using thematic analysis, making use of both a priori codes and emergent codes that arose from the open-ended questions.

Results: The findings reveal numerous pedagogic strategies such as differentiation, scaffolding, use of visual cues, group work and collaboration that can include learners with ASD in the classroom space.

Conclusion: Teacher collaboration and teacher training are vital in ensuring that learners with ASD are fully included in the classroom space.


Keywords

inclusive education; inclusive education policy; autism spectrum disorder; inclusive pedagogies; South African inclusive education

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