Second South African Symposium on Teacher Education for Inclusion – June 2017
The University of Johannesburg’s Department of Educational Psychology was represented at the Second South African Symposium on Teacher Education for Inclusion hosted by North West University in Van Der Bijl Park in June 2017. Masters student, Jane Opara and Dr Jean Fourie presented the findings of a study conducted in Johannesburg schools exploring the support strategies used by newly qualified teachers in accommodating learners with neurodevelopmental disorders. In the recent decade the prevalence of learners with these disabilities has increased in mainstream and full service schools. In the initial quantitative phase of this study, teachers in their first year of teaching reported high incidences of learners with attention deficits, reading and literacy problems, maths difficulties and Autistic spectrum disorders in their classrooms. In the qualitative phase, in-depth interviews with selected teachers revealed that individualised curriculum content, ability grouping and assessment concessions were provided to support these learners, however, the intensity was often superficial. These preliminary findings imply that initial teacher training programmes should respond by incorporating more focus on practical methodologies to prepare novice teachers to support a wide range of commonly occurring cognitive challenges found in modern, diverse classrooms.
This study is sponsored by the UJ, Centre for Studies on Educating Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Southern Africa and will be published in a Masters Dissertation