Exploring the implementation of inclusive education in the Pinetown district shools : a case study of learners' experiences and teachers' perceptions about the classroom environment at a selected school.
The study intends to contribute to successful implementation of Inclusive Education in South African Schools, by exploring learners’ experiences within the classroom and teachers views about the classroom environment. A combination of these two factors will indicate the extent how far inclusive education is being implemented in the classrooms. The school that was selected to participate in this study is located in the semi-rural area in Pinetown district. Learners participated in three focus group sessions. These sessions aimed at gathering data on learners’ experiences within classroom environment. Each group consisted of eight learners; that is, four males and four females. Focus group one was selected from grade seven; the second focus group from grade eight and the third group from grade nine. The class teachers of the selected classes were requested to take part in the interview sessions. The sessions intended to gather information on teachers’ views about classroom environment and how it impacts on their implementation of Inclusive education. The study reveals that in South Africa the problem of inclusive curriculum implementation still exists and need special attention from all stake holders involved in education. What learners experience in the classroom result from how teachers conduct their practice. It is also evident that teachers have not been properly prepared for a paradigm shift and implementation of inclusive curriculum. As a result teaching practice has not change to accommodate the requirements of inclusive education. Consequently, the losers in the process are the learners, as they continuously have negative experiences within the classroom which causes barriers to learning.