Enhancing teacher pedagogical content knowledge of teaching Sesotho phonics to learners with learning disabilities

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Pelea, Ntsoaki Annacleta
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University of the Free State
This study focuses on the enhancement of teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK) by investigating the lived-experiences and knowledge of three special school teachers who teach learners with learning disabilities (LLDs). This research was carried out in one of the special schools within the Motheo District in the Free State Province of South Africa. The population sample for the study included Sesotho teachers teaching LLDs in a special school. The researcher purposively and conveniently selected Junior Phase teachers for the study which employed Participatory Action Research (PAR) as the research methodology. Three instruments for data collection were employed: focus group discussions, classroom observations, and document analyses. The findings revealed that most of the teachers did not have the required in-depth knowledge about Sesotho phonics. Also, most of the participants did not possess adequate content knowledge pertaining to the teaching of Sesotho phonics to LLDs. Moreover, the co-researchers did not know how to adapt and familiarise themselves with diverse learner-needs. Knowledge of learner-centred strategies was lacking. The co-researchers’ pre-conceptions and misconceptions on the topic of phonics were also evident. The research team used Social Constructivism and Ubuntu as the theoretical frameworks which enabled the researcher to work closely with co-researchers in sharing information. Mcniff and Whitehead’s Framework and Guidelines were utilised to engage with the topic under investigation. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) was applied to analyse data collected from the three co-researchers through their lesson presentations in teaching Sesotho phonics to LLDs. The most important recommendations assist in overcoming the main challenges; these are that Sesotho teachers in the Junior Phase of this special school must continue to apply the principles of PAR, and that they should avail themselves for regular in-service training to enhace their TPCK in teaching Sesotho phonics to the LLDs.
Dissertation (M.Ed. (Curriculum Studies))--University of the Free State, 2021, Content knowledge, Learners with learning disabilities, Pedagogical content knowledge, Sesotho phonics, Teacher pedagogical content knowledge