Die verskuiwing van leerders na klasse vir leerders met spesiale onderwysbehoeftes : 'n oorgangsteoretiese ondersoek
Louw, Johanna Gertruida
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The differences between all learners and the desire to build on the resemblances that do exist form the basis of inclusive education. In addition, due consideration is constantly given to the fact that all learners need support at some or other time to reap the full benefits of education. The education system in the inclusive dispensation has already started making adjustments to provide such support. For instance, special schools now serve as resources for other mainstream schools in their vicinity. The establishment of full service schools is also an adjustment to the system. South Africa is moving towards a more inclusive education system, while learners themselves also move between different systems. Those systems are the mainstream education system, which is mostly inclusive with regard to low and moderate levels of learner support; and the special education system, which makes provision for higher levels of learner support. This means that some learners are in transition between systems. Accordingly, I used the theoretical frameworks of transition theory and liminality theory to investigate the transition of learners from one system to another. Transition is described according to the direction in which it takes place – horisontally between specific environments at the same time, and vertically between different environments over a period of time. The transition of learners from a mainstream class to a class for learners with special education needs (an LSEN class) in a particular full-service school is a horisontal movement, since it takes place in the same environment (the same school), and in the same period during which those learners’ peers remain in the mainstream class. At some full-service schools, learners with barriers to learning are moved to LSEN classes in those schools, due to the degree of their barriers, and subject to certain conditions. These classes serve as a temporary measure until those learners can be placed back into a mainstream class. The way in which learners experience that transition was investigated in this research. The research was conducted at a full-service school in Potchefstroom, North West Province. That particular school has three LSEN classes as a result of the severity of some learners’ barriers to learning. Interviews were conducted with nine current and nine former teachers of nine selected participants who were learners at the three LSEN classes (three participants from each class) at the full-service school. The parents of the nine participants were also interviewed. A focus-group interview was held with each of the three groups of selected learners (one group from each LSEN class). All interviews were transcribed, coded and analysed by means of thematic analysis. The findings of the empirical study were divided into intra-personal and interpersonal factors. These factors were further subdivided into different themes. The intra-personal factors included the following themes: Emotional development; group pressure; self-image and self-confidence; a feeling of loss; a transition that was traumatic, nerve-wracking and confusing, was filled with stress and fear, and led to aggression; level of security; and ability to hold his or her own in difficult situations. The interpersonal factors included the following: Social skills, loss of friends, loss of social status, and the feeling that the transition to an LSEN class was merely a temporary measure. This study has made an important contribution to the existing knowledge base on the transition of learners to LSEN classes and the aspects that have an influence on such transition.
- Education