A case study exploring how grade three learners with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder experience the support provided by their educators in an inclusive education context.
Alberda, Kate Jane.
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South Africa is a country with tremendous diversity. Previously, many learners who experienced barriers to learning and development were excluded from the education system, preventing them from meeting their educational needs. With the implementation of inclusive education, barriers to learning and development are no longer seen to reside primarily within the individual learner, but instead emphasis is placed on transforming the education system to accommodate a variety of learning needs. Many learners in South Africa display symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which frequently affects their learning and development. In some instances very little is being done to accommodate such learners to ensure that they are given the opportunity to develop to their full potential, as many educators continue to view these learners negatively, and fail to question the effect that they themselves may have upon the learners’ development. The implementation of inclusive education, however, ought to create a space in schools where educators can support learners with ADHD in a unique manner and assist them to develop to their full potential. It is on the basis of this acknowledgement and commitment of support by Education White Paper 6 that this research project was conceived, to explore how grade three learners with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder experience the support provided by their educators. A qualitative approach was employed in the study and participants were selected through purposive sampling. As the primary participants were young learners, the data was obtained through the use of arts-based (collage) focus group interviews. Individual interviews were also used to gather additional data from the learners’ educators. The data from both the learners with ADHD and their educators was then transcribed. After a thorough analysis, using an open-coding technique, the findings clearly indicated that attempts are being made to implement the policy of inclusive education within schools. Educators and staff are beginning to value the diversity of learners, and evidently are attempting to make adjustments to cater for the individual needs of learners and promote their successful learning and development.