Publication Type: Journal article
Year: 2022
Author(s)Jane Kelly, Judith Mckenzie, Brian Watermeyer, Richard Vergunst, Amani Karisa & Chantal Samuels
Unit: AARHub
Journal: International Journal of Disability, Development and Education

Abstract: "Despite a sound policy framework, the right of learners with disabilities in South Africa to inclusive and equitable quality education is not being met. A key reason hindering the realisation of this right is that there are very few teacher education programs focused on supporting learners with disabilities. Acknowledging the urgency of teacher education, in this paper we draw on qualitative data from 109 teacher participants and 39 course facilitators of a series of disability inclusion-focused teacher education short courses in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Based on their experience of the courses, we consider how teachers can be empowered to meet the diverse needs of their learners within an inclusive framework. Findings highlight that professional and personal growth facilitated a more empathic understanding of learners and the opportunity to collaborate with others, enabling teachers to find creative ways of solving problems faced in their workplaces. To support teachers in meeting the needs of their learners, teacher training should facilitate active reflection on the role they play in shaping the lives of their learners, and prepare teachers to respond to challenges strategically, taking advantage of the resources available to them within and beyond their school environment."

Citation: Kelly, J., Mckenzie, J., Watermeyer, B., Vergunst, R., Karisa, A. & Samuels, C. (2022). ‘We Need to Go Back to Our Schools, and We Need to Make that Change We Wish to See’: Empowering Teachers for Disability Inclusion. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, published online