The training needs of in-service as well as pre-service educators regarding the support of learners experiencing barriers to learning

Year: 2007

Author: Nel, Mirna

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Since the adoption of the Salamanca Statement in 1994 by 92 governments to make fundamental policy shifts towards inclusive education, the South African education system has gone through a process (and are still progressing) to change to a socio-ecological (inclusive) education system. In this system the intensity of the need of the child should be addressed and dealt with in any given context. This inclusive model has been legalized by the acceptance of White Paper 6 in 2001. Draft policies to put White Paper 6 into practice are being piloted currently. The focal point of White Paper 6 as well as the draft policies is based on the notion that all educators will have the knowledge and skills to identify and support learners experiencing barriers to learning in any given context.

This notion compels the higher education institutions to revisit their teacher training strategies with pre-service as well as in-service teachers. A pilot study with teachers from Secondary and Special Schools in one school district in the Gauteng province indicated that they have not been adequately trained in their pre-graduate training as well as in-service training and has a desperate need for knowledge and skills to be able to address their learners' specific needs.