Improving the implementation of policy on screening, identification, assessment and support with teacher training
Ntseto, Rachel Motshidisi
MetadataShow full item record
This study aims at improving implementation of Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support (SIAS) policy with teacher training at selected schools, where challenges have been identified. The challenges surrounding the implementation of SIAS policy include support to learners and teachers, teacher training in SIAS policy, knowledge and understanding of SIAS, attitudes towards SIAS, involvement of other officials in SIAS have been identified. These challenges surrounding the implementation of SIAS policy have led to infringement on the educational rights of many learners, especially at numerous disadvantaged schools. These schools end up being categorised as under-performing schools, due to the poor results of learners. Effective schools are educationally inclusive schools, in which the teaching, learning, achievements, attitudes and well-being of every person matters. This is shown not only in their performance, but also in their ethos and willingness to offer new opportunities to learners who may have experienced previous difficulties. This research is underpinned by the Social Development Theory (SDT). SDT is suitable for this study as it provides orientation to the epistemological and methodological choices that will help improve implementation of SIAS, so that teachers might be able to address the barriers which thwart the learning of LSEN. The SDT suggests that teachers should take part in developing themselves further, in order to fill the gaps that may be found to hinder the performing of their roles and responsibilities. Therefore, in order for them to improve or gain knowledge on how to implement inclusive policies, social interaction with their leaders, supervisors or advisors is required. Participatory Action Research design has, thus, been employed in this study, with the selection of three schools of Motheo District. What yielded the data for this study was the utilisation of focus group discussions with teachers and School Based Support Team (SBST) co-ordinators, as well as group discussions with district officials, including the Learning Support Advisor (LSA) from the District Based Support Team (DBST), the Subject Advisor (SA) and the Circuit Manager (CM). The key finding of this study is that Inclusive Education policies, SIAS in particular, are not effectively nor successfully implemented because the SAs and CMs are not involved as Curriculum, Governance and Management officials. This renders teacher training from Inclusive Section a futile exercise because there will never be effective implementation thereafter, because teachers are not accounting to Inclusive Section Officials. As such, this study strongly recommends participation and involvement of SAs and CMs in the implementation of SIAS policy, and the best way to do that is to train teachers together with LSFs from the Inclusive Education Section.