Education is essential to the success of the individual and communities. Public schools are charged with the responsibility of preparing students for college/university; while college/university are expected to prepare students for the work force. An inclusive approach to teaching; learning and assessment is forseen in the ‘The Revised National Curriculum Statement’, as part of this result we as teachers need to address barriers that learners may experience. As teachers we will only succeed in doing this if we are aware of social; emotional; physical as well as other barriers our students may experience.
The success or failure of individual students depends on their ability to learn, it’s also important to remember that barriers don’t necessarily exist all the time(or from the get go), but can occur suddenly due to change in circumstances; emotional trauma as well as a variety of other factors. BARRIERS TO LEARNING CAN BE DIVIDED INTO 4GROUPS MAINLY: 1. SYSTEMIC BARRIERS 2. SOCIETAL BARRIERS 3. PEDAGOGICAL BARRIERS 4. MEDICAL BARRIERS The above mentioned barriers are not a complete account of all barriers students can experience, for example: Down ; Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; .
Autism; Cerebral Palsy or Epilepsy, to name but a few. I will go on to explain in only a few short sentences which each of the above mentioned barriers entails: 1. SYSTEMIC BARRIERS There are a few problems in our educational system that can contribute to conditions that may cause barriers to learning: Lack of basic and appropriate learning material; Lack of assistive devices; inadequate facilities in schools; overcrowded classrooms as well as lack of mother-tongue speakers.
We as future teachers have to try get the necessary resources even though the inadequate number of schools and available classrooms restricts the effort to supply in the need for education. I as a teacher would look into starting charity fundraisers even getting the children involved in order to get the necessary funds to help my school with the lack of resources etc. The language of teaching and learning, can be a barrier seeing as some parents cannot read or write the language of teaching, they are not equipped to assist with homework or projects .
As a teacher I would try to start an afterschool programme in which students can ask for help with certain homework or projects they may experience problems with. 2. SOCIETAL BARRIERS Includes Sever Poverty; Late Enrolment; gangs/violence at home or in neighbourhoods; gender issues in cultural groups and societies. I will go on to discuss Severe Poverty which is a large barrier to learning (in any country) but in S. A in particular. If students don’t have access to their basic needs such as: nutrition; shelter; water; electricity; toilets; transport and basic medical treatment.
As teachers we should take an interest in each childs circumstances and recognise particular problems, be able to take on a role as caregiver; teacher and counsellor and always offer our help where we can. We also cannot have negative attitudes because it can be harmful to or students, by not having a negative attitude we help our students build self-esteem and confidence in being able to complete activities without having fear of rejection or labelling.
As teachers we should be well educated about the pandemic HIV-AIDS, I as teacher will make sure I understand and have the necessary skills and knowledge to be of help to my students whom have been diagnosed. I will also incorporate a week in my curriculum to dedicate to HIV-AIDS to my students in which I will have them do some research and I will explain the necessary knowledge my students need to know, and by so doing reduce the chances of my students being discriminated or labelled. 3.
Insufficient support of educators; inappropriate and unfair assessment procedures and inflexible curriculums. Seeing guidance regarding inclusive assessment methods is given in the ‘Guidelines Document’, which was published in ‘National Department in Education in June;2002’; states that the curriculum can be very inflection in nature and not meet the diverse needs of all learners. Therefore I as a teacher would ensure that all learning styles are accommodated in my classroom.
Ensure that my students will be allowed to work at their own pace which in turn will also make no child feel left behind and faster students impatient, I will also ensure that no learner is excluded from any subjects based on gender; religion; and physical disability. 4. MEDICAL BARRIERS Sadly there are more than 4000 medical causes of disabilities in learners. To name but a few: sensory disabilities; neurological disabilities; physical disabilities and cognitive disabilities. As a teacher I would pay special attention to my learners as well as observe them closely in order to diagnose a problem as soon as possible.
As a teacher I will always maintain an organised classroom, be prepared with a clear vision of what I would like to achieve on a specific day as well as have a ruff plan of what I would like to achieve in a year. I will ensure that my students will always know their routine and what I expect of them. My classroom will be a safe and supportive environment.. I will make sure I’m able to adapt my teaching practice when necessary, I will also do my best at maintaining as flexible curriculum as possible.
I will always keep learning and educating myself so as to be able to identify as well as understand barriers to learning; in turn making sure I have the necessary knowledge to to adapt my teaching and assessment methods, to assist each child with a barrier in my classroom, As a teacher in my community, I will pay attention to all the above mentioned barriers; make sure all students get the best education possible. I will be sensitive to my students needs as well as my communities needs. SOURCE: curriculum-wecape. school. za/resource_files/40112654_inclusive_eng_12-27. doc
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