Emotional and behavioural barriers to learning and development in the inclusive education classrooms in South Africa: Developing a training programme for teachers

  • Lucia Potgieter-Groot
  • Maretha Visser
  • Carien Lubbe-de Beer

Abstract

Objective: The interaction between teachers, classroom strategies and learners experiencing emotional and behavioural barriers to learning and development in a system of inclusive education results in multiple dynamics on different levels. Many teachers in mainstream education lack training to deal with learners experiencing emotional and behavioural barriers. Resistance towards inclusive education is therefore evident. This paper describes the process of developing an in-service training programme for teachers who deal with learners with emotional and behavioural barriers in their classrooms. Method: A process of action research was used to allow the researcher, in collaboration with 47 teachers from 2 primary schools, to develop a training programme to address the specific needs of teachers in dealing with learners experiencing emotional and behavioural barriers in their classes. Qualitative feedback from teachers and observations by the researcher and external observers were used to evaluate the appropriateness of the training.
Findings: Teachers experienced that appropriate classroom management strategies made a significant difference in the behaviour of learners experiencing emotional and behavioural barriers. The training affected teachers’ attitudes, teacher–learner interaction, learner behaviour and school organisation.
Conclusion: In-service training for teachers can affect the effective implementation of inclusive education. This programme can be adapted to address the needs of teachers in other areas.

Journal of Child & Adolescent Mental Health 2012, 24(1): 59–71

Author Biographies

Lucia Potgieter-Groot
Gauteng Department of Education, Johannesburg, 0001 South Africa
Maretha Visser
University of Pretoria, Department of Psychology, South Africa
Carien Lubbe-de Beer
University of Pretoria, Educational Psychology, Pretoria, South Africa
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1728-0591
print ISSN: 1728-0583