The challenges of inclusive education and its implementation in schools: The South African perspective
Keywords:Barrier, Curriculum adaptation, Diversity, Sexual orientation, Inclusive education
Inclusive education is the term used to describe an education system in which all learners are accepted and fully included, educationally and socially. The process of inclusion proves to have challenges in developing countries such as South Africa which adopted it a bit later than the developed countries. Research has mentioned that amongst other challenges is the lack of resources and overcrowding. Hence, this paper debates and discusses the challenges in the implementation of inclusive education in South African schools. The study was designed as a multiple case study research in which a qualitative research approach was employed. Three schools in the Buffalo City Metro and three participants per school participated in the study. Qualitative data analysis was grounded on an interpretive philosophy. The findings revealed that overcrowding, insufficient training, lack of knowledge and skills of educators were the overarching themes that resulted in educators feeling a sense of inadequacy to teach in an inclusive education classroom. The study will cover the challenges faced in the implementation of inclusive education. Therefore, the study recommends that inclusive education should cater to all learners irrespective of the type of disability.
Amod, Z. 2015. South African foundation phase teachers’ perceptions of ADHD at private and public schools. International Journal of Environmental Research And Public Health, 12(3): 3042–3059. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303042
Avramidis, E. 2012. A survey into mainstream teachers’ attitude towards the inclusion of children with special educational needs in an ordinary school in one local education authority. London: Routledge.
Bigham, T. 2010. Do teachers have a negative attitude towards the inclusion of students with special needs? Unpublished master thesis. USA: Ohio University.
Boland, J. 1997. The importance of the stochastic component of climatic variables in simulating the thermal behavior of domestic dwellings. Solar Energy, 60(6): 359–366. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0038-092X(97)00019-4
Bourke, P.E. 2010. Inclusive education reform in Queensland: Implications for policy and practice. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 14(2): 83–193. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603110802504200
Brackenreed, D. 2011. Inclusive education: Identifying teachers' strategies for coping with perceived stressors in inclusive classrooms. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 122: 1–37.
Bronfenbrenner, U. Ecology of the family as a context for human development: Research perspectives. Developmental Psychology, 22(6): 723–742. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-16188.8.131.523
Chataika, T., Mckenzie, J.A., Swart, E. & Lyner-Cleophas, M. 2012. Access to education in Africa: Responding to the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Disability and Society, 27(3): 385–398. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2012.654989
Creswell, J.W. 2007. Qualitative research designs: Selection and implementation. The Counseling Psychologist, 35(2): 236–264. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000006287390
Creswell, J.W. 2013. Steps in conducting a scholarly mixed methods study. Nebraska, USA: University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Creswell, J.W. 2016. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage publications.
Ciyer, A. 2010. Developing inclusive education policies and practices in Turkey: A study of the roles of UNESCO and local educators. Arizona, USA: Arizona State University.
Crossman, J.E. 2014. Being on the outer: The risks and benefits of spiritual self-disclosure at work. New York: Academy of Management. https://doi.org/10.5465/ambpp.2014.10066abstract
Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S. (Eds.). 2011. The Sage handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Department of Basic Education (DBE). 2015. Policy on screening, identification, assessment and support. Pretoria: Government printers.
Department of Education (DoE). 2001. Education White Paper 6. Special needs education: Building an inclusive education and training system. Pretoria: Government Printers.
Donohue, D. & Bornman, J. 2014. The challenges of realizing inclusive education in South Africa. South African Journal of Education, 34(2): 1–14. https://doi.org/10.15700/201412071114
Dreyer, L.M. 2017. Constraints to quality education and support for all: A Western Cape case. South African Journal of Education, 37(1): 1–11. https://doi.org/10.15700/saje.v37n1a1226
Du Plessis, M. 2013. Youth creating inclusion: Supporting youth by increasing awareness, sharing knowledge and creating inclusion in their school culture. Doctoral dissertation. Seattle: City University of Seattle.
Eck, J. & Riva, P. 2016. Bridging the gap between different psychological approaches to understanding and reducing the impact of social exclusion. In P. Riva & J. Eck (Eds.). Social exclusion: Psychological approaches to understanding and reducing its impact (pp. 277–289). New York: Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-33033-4_13
Engelbrecht, P. & Muthukrishna, N. 2017. Inclusive education as a localised project in complex contexts: A South African case study. Southern African Review of Education, 25(1): 107–124.
Engelbrecht, P. 2012. Understanding teachers’ attitudes and self-efficacy in inclusive education: Implications for pre-service and in-service teacher education. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 27(1): 51–68. https://doi.org/10.1080/08856257.2011.613603
Engelbrecht, P., Nel, M., Nel, N. & Tlale, D. 2015. Enacting understanding of inclusion in complex contexts: classroom practices of South African teachers. South African Journal of Education, 35(3): 1–10. https://doi.org/10.15700/saje.v35n3a1074
Engel-Yeger, B. 2010. Inclusion of children with disabilities: Teachers' attitudes and requirements for environmental accommodations. International Journal of Special Education, 25(2): 89–99.
Evans, C. 2014. Teachers working together: How to communicate, collaborate, and facilitate positive behavior in inclusive classrooms. Journal of the International Association of Special Education, 15(2): 142–146.
Francis, I.L. 2007. Inclusion in action: an in-depth case study of an effective inclusive secondary school in the south-west of England. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 6(2): 143–163. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603110010017169
Fuchs, C. 2010. Labor in informational capitalism and on the internet. The Information Society, 26(3): 179–196. https://doi.org/10.1080/01972241003712215
Galabuzi, G.E. 2004. Social exclusion. In D. Raphael (Ed.). Social determinants of health: Canadian perspectives (pp. 235–251). Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc.
Hido, M. & Shehu, I. 2010. Beyond stigmatization of children with difficulties in learning. Online Submission, 7(10): 70–77.
Hwang, Y.S. & Evans, D. 2011. Attitudes towards inclusion: Gaps between belief and practice. International Journal of Special Education, 26(1): 136–146.
Kalyanpur, M. 2008. Equality, quality and quantity: challenges in inclusive education policy and service provision in India. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 12(3): 243–262. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603110601103162
Kalyanpur, M. 2011. Paradigm and paradox: Education for All and the inclusion of children with disabilities in Cambodia. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15(10): 1053–1071. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2011.555069
Kalyanpur, M. 2014. Paradigm and paradox: Education for All and the inclusion of. Disability, Poverty and Education, 7.
Kalyva, E. 2007. Prevalence and influences on self-reported smoking among adolescents with mild learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and their typically developing peers. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 11(3): 267–279. https://doi.org/10.1177/1744629507080790
Kgothule, R. J. & Hay, J. 2013. Educators’ views on management practices in the implementation of inclusive education: An ecosystemic approach. Journal of Human Ecology, 42(1): 33–41. https://doi.org/10.1080/09709274.2013.11906579
Kozleski, E., Artiles, A. & Waitoller, F. 2013. Equity in inclusive education: A cultural historical comparative perspective. In L. Florian (Ed.). The SAGE Handbook of Special Education (pp. 231–250). Los Angeles: Sage Publications. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446282236.n16
Le Fanu, G. 2014. International development, disability, and education: Towards a capabilities-focused discourse and praxis. International Journal of Educational Development, 38: 69–79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2014.04.001
Lester, S. 1999. An introduction to phenomenological research. Taunton, England: Stan Lester Developments.
Logan, S.W. 2012. Getting the fundamentals of movement: a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of motor skill interventions in children. Child: Care, Health and Development, 38(3): 305–315. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01307.x
Mack, L. 2010. The philosophical underpinnings of educational research. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37(4): 277–284.
Mitchell, C. 2008. “Let’s not leave this problem”: exploring inclusive education in rural South Africa. Prospects, 38(1): 99–112. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11125-008-9057-y
Mkandawire, M.T., Maphale, S.P. & Tseeke, M.R. 2016. A comparative assessment of special education situations between Lesotho and Malawi. International Journal of Education and Research, 5(4): 171–183.
Mpu, Y. 2018. Educators' perceptions of inclusive education for learners with physical disabilities. Unpublished PhD thesis. East London: University of Fort Hare.
Muthukrishna, N. & Schoeman, M., 2000. From 'special needs' to 'quality education for all': A participatory, problem-centred approach to policy development in South Africa. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 4(4): 315–335. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603110050168023
Raselimo, M. & Mahao, M. 2015. The Lesotho curriculum and assessment policy: Opportunities and threats. South African Journal of Education,32(1) 35–39. https://doi.org/10.15700/201503070025
Riva, P., Eck, J. & Riva, 2016. Social exclusion. Berlin, Germany: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-33033-4
Rosa, G. & Tuge R.L. 2013. Outcome measures for individuals with stroke: Process and recommendations from the American physical therapy association neurology section task force. Physical Therapy, 93(10): 1383–1396. https://doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20120492
Scheerens, J. 2010. Teachers' professional development. Europe in international comparison. A secondary analysis based on TALIS dataset. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Union.
Slavica, P. 2010. Inclusive Education: Proclamations or reality (primary school teachers' view). Online Submission, 7(10): 62–69.
Swart, E. & Pettipher, R. 2011. Perspectives on inclusive education. Addressing Barriers to Learning in South Africa, 1–27.
Thomas, D.R. 2006. A general inductive approach for analysing qualitative evaluation data. American Journal of Evaluation, 27(2): 237–246. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214005283748
Thomazet, S. 2009. From integration to inclusive education: Does changing the terms improve practice? International Journal of Inclusive Education, 13(6): 553–563. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603110801923476
UNESCO. 2005. Guidelines for inclusion: Ensuring Access to Education for All. Paris: UNESCO.
Van Den Bergh, T.J. 2014. “Learning to like learning”: an appreciative inquiry into emotions in education. Social Psychology of Education, 17(2): 211–228.
Waitoller, F.R. & Artiles, A.J. 2013. A decade of professional development research for inclusive education: A critical review and notes for a research program. Review of Educational Research, 83(3): 319–356. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654313483905
Walton, E. 2016. The language of inclusive education: Exploring speaking, listening, reading and writing. London: Routledge.
Wylde, C. 2015. State, economy, and society in post-neoliberalism: Argentina under Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. New Political Economy, 21(3): 322–341. https://doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2016.1113949
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Dr Yolanda Mpu, Prof Emmanuel O. Adu
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.