The Perceptions of Primary School Educators Regarding Inclusive Education in the Free State Province of South Africa

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The recent movement towards inclusive education in South Africa, promotes a single system of education dedicated to ensuring that all learners are empowered to become caring and component citizens in an inclusive, changing and diverse society. Booth and Ainscow (in Engelbrecht and Green 2001:161) argue that inclusion is not seen merely as a move of learners from special to mainstream schools but should rather be viewed as a continuous process, depended on continuous pedagogical and organizational transformation within the educational system. The purpose of this study was to investigate the educators’ perceptions regarding inclusive education in primary schools in the Free State province of South Africa. A structured questionnaire on a 5-point Likert scale was administered to 240 educators to gather information regarding is this aspect . Findings of the study revealed that respondents (60,9%) view learners with barriers to learning and development as having an equal right to education as their ‘normal’ counterparts . Seventy two percent of respondents indicated that they experience serious challenges with the implementation of inclusive education.
In conclusion, we recommend that the provincial Department of Education seriously consider empowering and capacitating educators in Inclusive teaching methods and assessment techniques.


Keywords: Inclusive Education, perceptions, Learners with Barriers to Learning and Development, Primary School Educators
Stream: Special Education, Learning Difficulties, Disability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Glynnis Daries

Lecturer, Curriculum Studies, University of Free State
Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

I am a lecturer in the Department of Curriculum Studies at the University of the Free State. My previous work experiences include teaching in the Foundation Phase (Grade 1 and 3) and in the Intermediate Phase (Grade 5) at primary school level for 7 years. I was also responsible for the facilitation and organization of remedial teaching and didactical assistance programmes. My current lecturing duties include Numeracy programmes relating to teaching practices within the Foundation Phase. My research interest include: Inclusive education, psychology of education, support teaching.

Dr. Gregory Alexander

Lecturer, Psychology of Education, University of the Free State
Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

I am a lecturer in the Department of Psychology of Education at the University of the Free State. My previous work experiences include teaching Geography and Life Orientation in High school for 12 years. I was also a subject advisor for Geography in the Northern Cape Education Department. My research interest include: Inclusive education, psychology of education, multi-cultural teaching and learning environments.

Dr. Dipane Hlalele

Senior Lecturer, Psychology of Education, University of the Free State
Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

I am a lecturer in the Department of Psychology of Education at the University of the Free State. My previous work experiences include teaching Geography and school guidance at High school level. I was also the Head of Department for Social Studies at school. My research interest include: Psychology of education, support teaching, learning styles and self-concept development.

Prof. Micheal M Van Wyk

Lecturer, Curriculum Studies, University of the Free State
Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

I am a lecturer in the Department of Curriculum studies at the University of the Free State. My previous work experiences include teaching Economic and Management Sciences at High school level. I was also a high school principal and Subject advisor for commercial subjects for the Northern Cape Education Department. My current lecturing duties include teaching the methodology of commercial subjects for the Further Education and Training Phase. My research interest include: Economic education, cooperative learning in economic education, learner leadership and teacher development programmes.

Ref: L09P1186