Teacher, Are You Equipped to Support Me with My Learning Problem?

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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
Stream: Special Education, Learning Difficulties, Disability
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Ansie Lessing

Professor, Department Educational Studies, University of South Africa
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Ansie Lessing is a professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of South Africa. She teaches parent guidance to post graduate students and is a member of the team responsible for the training of educational psychologists. A number of students completed their postgraduate dissertations and theses with her and she has an intens interest in the issues linked with postgraduate supervision and examination. Further special interests include initial reading, second language learners, outcomes-based education and assistance to learners with learning disabilities and emotional problems. The academic part of her work is supplemented by a limited private practice.

Marike W. de Witt

Professor, Teacher Training, University of South Africa
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Marike de Witt is the Coordinator of four Early Childhood training programmes at the Department of Teacher Education, University of South Africa. She is also a member of the National Department of Education's Coordinating Committee for Early Childhood Development (CCECD) and the South African Qualifications Authority's Standard Generating Body for Early Childhood Development (SGB-ECD). She holds Executive positions in the SA Teachers Union and the Board of the School of Humanities. She has published numerous scholarly publications, and has attended a number of International and local conferences during the past years. She has been an active promoter of masters and doctorate students, and is recognized as a qualified assessor by SETA.

Ref: L09P0436