Foundation phase teachers’ points of view on the viability of Response to Intervention in their school contex
Guided by an interpretivist paradigm, the qualitative case study reported on here provided insight into the points of view of 9 foundation phase teachers on whether they believed that Response to Intervention (RtI) could be a viable approach to implement within their own school context. A semi-structured, focus group interview was conducted to explore the participants’ views regarding the viability of RtI for their school. Through exploring these teachers’ views, we aimed at initiating further research into whether RtI could potentially be a viable approach to assessment and intervention within a South African context. The findings suggest that the participants envisioned numerous challenges in the implementation of RtI within their school context. These challenges related to a lack of resources and challenges associated with the curriculum. The participants envisioned such challenges as potentially preventing the effective implementation of RtI and, therefore, decreasing its viability in their school context. The participants believed that if certain challenges, such as a lack of time and a lack of qualified teaching staff could be addressed and overcome, then an RtI approach could become viable in their school context. They believed that an effective RtI implementation could yield benefits associated with improved overall service delivery to learners and their parents. Furthermore, the participants believed that RtI could potentially result
in a reduced need for financial resources to pay for referrals to learner support specialists, which they perceived as a challenge in their learner support interventions. The insights obtained from this study may be useful in guiding further research endeavours into the perceived viability of RtI in other school contexts in South Africa.
Keywords: differentiated instruction; inclusive education; learner support; response to intervention
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