What is inclusive education and what does it mean for teachers?
There are many different views and definitions of what is understood by the concept “inclusive education”. In essence, inclusive education refers to a school system that is a reflection of society. It is essential that learners with differing abilities should be included in our classrooms. Segregation in any form is strongly discouraged and diversity is embraced.
Teachers are tasked to deliver the curriculum at a specific pace and level, but not all learners are able to progress at the required rate. This scenario poses a challenge, and teachers often lack the skills to assist those learners with barriers to learning.
What are barriers to learning?
“Barriers to learning” is a term officially used in Education White Paper 6: Special Needs Education, Building an Inclusive Education and Training System. This term gives us insight to view the barrier as an obstacle to the child and not the child as the “problem”. There are many factors that can be barriers to learning − they can be intrinsic (from within the child) or extrinsic (from outside the child).
How do you assist learners with barriers to learning?
This course is designed to help you understand a wide range of barriers to learning and then develop practical intervention strategies to support the learner in reaching his/her potential. The course will guide the teacher to:
- Identify and understand the different barriers to learning and their impact.
- Identify the indicators of the barrier within the different mathematical skills.
- Understand the diverse learning needs these learners may experience as a result of these delays and deficits.
- Determine the functioning levels of the learners in each of the different mathematical skills.
- Understand and use the Policy on Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support (SIAS) as a guide to identify the level of support required and assist in the development of an individualised support plan for the learner.
- Develop strategies to support learners, e.g. differentiation, straddling, scaffolding, etc.
- Construct differentiated lesson plans.
- Evaluate the impact of intervention.
Identify and address barriers to learning in the following specific areas:
- teaching number operations and relations;
- teaching patterns, functions and algebra;
- teaching space and shape (geometry);
- teaching measurement;
- teaching data handling.
Additionally, the course gives a variety of interactive activities for Intermediate Phase teachers, including the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and support material, to provide the appropriate intervention for learners with barriers in learning Mathematics.