Educators’ experiences of inclusive learning contexts: An exploration of competencies
asset-based approach, barriers to learning, competencies in inclusive education, deficit-based approach
The successful implementation of inclusive education relies heavily on educators. Inclusive education is based on values such as human dignity, equality, human rights and freedom. The complexity of the interactive relationships between different systems, such as learners, educators, families, schools and the learning context, was recognised in this research and an eco-systemic perspective consequently applied. Our purpose in the research was to explore the experiences of educators in ordinary schools regarding the challenges experienced in inclusive learning contexts and to identify the competencies they used to deal with some of these challenges. A qualitative research design was chosen, using a case study. The study was conducted in North-West Province at a secondary School. Various contextual and microsystemic barriers that threatened an enabling learning environment were observed. Seven educators, one male and six female, were purposively selected for the study, and three methods of gathering data were used, namely, written assignments, in-depth follow-up interviews, and a focus group discussion. Themes and subthemes were identified through thematic content analysis. The findings indicated that the educators had competencies that enabled them to support learners and form collaborative relationships in an inclusive learning environment. Various implications for the Department of Education and school management teams are pointed out.
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