Foundation phase teachers' competencies in teaching learners with attention deficiency hyperactive disorder : an exploration study.
Mthethwa, Nombuso Gugulethu.
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This study is located within the interpretivist paradigm and adopted a qualitative methodology in order to explore teachers’ competencies for teaching learners with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), particularly in the Foundation Phase classroom. The Hope Theory framed the study by engaging teachers in meaning-making process as they identify their competencies and ways in which they could improve their teaching when ADHD is prevalent. Qualitative methodology was chosen as the preferred mode of inquiry which contributed to the researcher’s insight and understanding of the participants’ subjective competencies for teaching the learners with ADHD. Six teachers in one selected school in Pinetown district, who were teaching a diverse group of learners, including learners with ADHD in the foundation phase classroom, were purposefully selected. Participants were, as far as possible, obtained a teaching qualification, have been teaching in the selected school for the period of three years and above, and have taught learners with ADHD. Qualitative data generation methods (i.e. focus group discussion and collage activities) were used to generate data. Guided analysis was used in order to develop a deeper understanding of the teachers’ competencies by reporting on the patters across the data sets. The findings of this study suggested that the teachers possess varies competencies that they use when teaching learners with ADHD, that is using their knowledge and skills gained during the teacher training period. The findings further revealed that revealed that teachers’ attitude towards learners with ADHD is overwhelmingly negative, and they seem to lack a deeper understating of ADHD and this affect their teaching. Moving beyond this, there is hope for improved teaching, the findings revealed that teachers were willing to assistance within the school and from the parents of these learners. Thus, teachers found that it is necessary for everyone to work together in educating the learners with ADHD, as this continues to affect more families and schools. There is even a greater need for the Department of Education to provide on-going and in-service training for teachers in relation to ADHD in the foundation phase. Though inclusive education reforms have been initiated, many learners with ADHD are still excluded intentionally or unintentional, thus affecting the gains of democracy and inclusive education in South Africa.