Integrating cultural inclusivity in a grade 4 classroom : a teacher's self-study.
Mkhize, Ntokozo Sibusisiwe.
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of my self-study research was to explore integrating cultural inclusivity, particularly children’s culture. As an aspiring inclusive practitioner I wanted to explore and reflect on what I could learn about cultural inclusivity and children’s culture from my own personal history and how I could integrate cultural inclusivity and children’s culture in my teaching. I was drawn to the practice of inclusivity as a focal point for my research. White Paper 6 policy stimulated me to explore how I could include my learners and take into account all my learners’ needs, interests and cultural backgrounds. I looked forward to implementing diversity in my classroom and to learn from my learners. A socio-cultural theoretical perspective channeling my thoughts to the fundamental nature of children, how they bring in conceptual resources into the classroom and introduce their cultural and daily encounters into the classroom before learning or attending school. I took inclusive participation inspired by the Children’s culture perspective which was to bring in games, toys and interests into their learning. I was the main participant in the research study. My 37 learners were participants in my study. I also worked with two critical friends who were also doing their Master’s Degree in Teacher Development and my supervisor. My two research questions were: 1. What can I learn about cultural inclusivity and children’s culture from my personal history? 2. What can I learn about cultural inclusivity and children’s culture from my grade 4 learners? To respond to these two questions, I generated data through practicing: artefact retrieval; collage making, poetry, journal writing, audio-recording and taking photographs. From this, I discovered that, as teachers we need to emancipate and not cage our learners’ thoughts and ideas. I appreciated the feedback I received from my learners, their participation, activities and games. I also explored that in children’s culture there are daily adventures and challenges that stimulate heroic moments for them. Additionally, I learned that children can create their own learning resources through toys, games and live passionately through laughter, questions, smiles, curiosity and uncertainties. Teaching and learning is not predictable. My most imperative lesson from self-study research was I discovered that as a teacher I make mistakes and so I need to constantly question and reflect on my teaching methodologies and lessons. We are constantly learning from our own practices through inquisition, reviving ourselves and accommodating differences.