The changing role of a remedial teacher to support teacher : a case-study of a primary school in Pinetown.
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Inclusion is not only about philosophy but more importantly about the practical changes that must be brought about in order to help all learners in our school system to excel and unfold their potential. Inclusive education can be seen as an approach that aims to transform our education system in order to respond to the diversity of learners. It aims to enable both teachers and learners to feel comfortable with diversity and to see it as a challenge and enrichment in the learning environment. Good teaching is good for all learners, irrespective of their differences and improved teacher training and on-going professional teacher support may be one of the most important strategies to create quality education for all. This research seeks to understand how a remedial teacher negotiated her role to that of a support teacher and to explore her experiences in providing support to a greater number of learners and teachers. This study was conducted at a primary school in Pinetown. A qualitative approach was used in conducting this research. Data for this study was gathered from the support teacher in an unstructured interview as well as participant observation during the support programme and from some learners in a focus group interview. Willing learners, currently in the grade four support programme were used in the focus group interview. The recorded interviews were then transcribed and analysed. The findings of this research indicate that negotiating her role from a remedial teacher to a support teacher afforded her the opportunity to utilize her expertise, specialist knowledge and experience effectively and cost-efficiently in an ordinary primary school to extend the support to a greater number of learners with computer-aided assistance and to provide support to teachers to manage all learners in a mainstream classroom.