South African Journal of Education

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How school ecologies facilitate resilience among adolescents with Intellectual Disability: Guidelines for teachers

Anna-Marié Hall, Linda Theron


The global prioritisation of the inclusion of learners with disabilities, and of vulnerable young people’s resilience, means that teachers worldwide require insight into how best to facilitate the resilience of adolescents made vulnerable by intellectual disability (ID). To provide such insight, we conducted a secondary data analysis of a multiple case study of resilient adolescents with ID attending special schools in Gauteng Province, South Africa. The visual and narrative data that inform this case study were generated by resilient adolescents with ID (n = 24), and their teachers (n = 18). Four school-related themes emerge from their accounts of resilience-supporting factors associated with their schools for the physically and severely intellectually disabled (SPSID). From these, we distill three uncomplicated actions mainstream school ecologies can execute in order to enable the resilience of included adolescents with ID. Their simplicity and ordinariness potentiate universally useful ways for mainstream teachers to champion the resilience of included adolescents with ID.

Keywords: adolescents; formal services; health and well-being; inclusion; intellectual disability; qualitative research; resilience; SPSID; teachers
AJOL African Journals Online