n Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap - Including a learner with physical disabilities : stressful for teachers? : research article
|Article Title||Including a learner with physical disabilities : stressful for teachers? : research article|
|© Publisher:||Koers Society of South Africa|
|Journal||Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap|
|Author||Irma Eloff, Estelle Swart and Petra Engelbrecht|
|Publication Date||Jan 2002|
|Pages||77 - 99|
|Keyword(s)||Fisieke gestremdheid leerder met, Inclusive education, Insluitende onderwys, Onderwyserstres, Physical disabilities learner and Teacher stress|
Learners with physical disabilities have been entering mainstream schools for some years now. Whereas early research on inclusive education necessitated a strong focus on the needs of the learners, there has also been a recent interest in the role of the teachers in inclusive education. By adopting constructivism as the paradigm for inquiry a study was undertaken to establish the stress factors for teachers who have to include a learner with a physical disability in their mainstream classes. The rationale for the study is threefold: i) Learners with physical disabilities are entering mainstream schools increasingly, ii) it is often assumed that inclusive education is too stressful for teachers to cope with, and iii) related research has shown that increased contact with individuals with disabilities has a positive effect on attitudes towards individuals with disabilities. In accordance with the dialectical methodology of constructivism, the Teacher Stress and Coping Questionnaire and in-depth interviews were utilised to establish the stress factors and the extent of the stress factors that may be present. The aim of the constructivist inquiry process is to promote understanding and reconstruction. In this article the quantitative results indicate overall low or non-existent levels of stress in teachers who have to include a learner with a physical disability, and the results therefore contribute to our understanding of this situation. The qualitative results reconstruct the meanings that these teachers attach to the inclusion of a learner with a physical disability and reveal some albeit limited concerns about the communication processes between parents and teachers and a perceived lack of pre-service training.
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