Teacher, Are You Equipped to Support Me with My Learning Problem?
South Africa currently follows a policy of inclusive education and all learners should if possible be accommodated in the main stream of the education system. Though, to effectively support learners with learning disability in the inclusive classroom teachers should not only have knowledge about learning disabilities and the underlying sub skills necessary to achieve the expected outcomes, but also have the confidence to apply this knowledge and skills in the classroom.
The results of a survey that was administered by Lessing and De Witt (2008) to determine teachers’ knowledge and skills to support the learner with learning difficulties in the inclusive classroom revealed that teachers do not know enough about the various aspects contributing to learning difficulties, nor do they have confidence to support learners to overcome these barriers. Very few of the teachers do have the basic knowledge of the What, How and Why of supporting learners with learning disabilities. It is clear that to answer: “Yes, I am equipped to support you with your learning problem in the inclusive classroom”, teachers need thorough specialised training in supporting learners with learning disabilities.
Keywords: Learning Disabilities, Learner Support, Inclusive Classroom, Sub-Skills
Professor, Department Educational Studies, University of South Africa
Marike W. de Witt
Professor, Teacher Training, University of South Africa