Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Exploring teaching practices that are effective in promoting inclusion in South African secondary schools
Author: Makoelle, Tsediso Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 6043
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Prior to the advent of the new democratic political dispensation in 1994, South African education had laboured under racially motivated discriminatory practices of active exclusion of the majority of learners. The authoritarian system located educational problems in the perceived deficiencies of the learner rather than in the repressive, top-down, non-participative, unreflective and uninclusive practices of the prevailing educational orthodoxy of the time. After 1994, the broader reconceptualisation of South African education sought to redress the imbalances of the past by creating equal opportunities for all learners, irrespective of race or creed. However, the difficult conundrum was how such a complex systemic change could be driven by teachers who had not only been trained in a heavily segregated educational system but formed part of it. Therefore, the aim of the thesis was to determine how teachers conceptualised inclusive teaching, explore the teaching practices that were believed to be effective in promoting inclusion in the South African secondary classrooms, and determine how they could be developed. The two-dimensional research study firstly took the form of a qualitative collaborative action research project conducted with a team of fifteen teachers at a single South African secondary school. The project was non-positivistic, critical, emancipatory and allowed the participants jointly to define the constructs of inclusive education, inclusive teaching and inclusive class; to identify practices of inclusion through observation; to adopt other practices in their classes; to determine the effect of such practices on inclusive teaching and learning; and finally to draw conclusions about the specific practices that were clearly effective in the context of their school. Secondly, an inductive analytical framework was used by the researcher to determine the theoretical contribution the study would make to the notion of developing inclusive teaching practices and determining the way this could be achieved within the South African school context. Data were collected through a series of meetings, participant observations, focus-group interviews, and one-on-one semi-structured interviews during the action-research stages of planning, action and reflection. Limitations were the teacher-researchers' lack of experience in conducting research and the limited time the research team had to complete the research tasks. The findings indicate that, at the time of the research, the conceptualisations of inclusive teaching and inclusive pedagogy were varied and continued to be influenced by the former special-needs education system. Moreover, the findings show that, while the inclusive practices identified by the teachers in this study are popular in the international literature, they need to be contextualised in and made relevant to the South African situation. However, it is clear that the teachers' experience of participating in the action-research process had raised their awareness of the importance of inclusive teaching, promoted a sense of emancipation, and held out the prospect of successful and possibly lasting change. These findings clearly imply that the reconceptualisation of inclusive pedagogy should always take place within a specific context, and that South African teachers in particular should form communities of inquiry to reflect on and develop their inclusive practices. The study has captured the essence of inclusion within the South African school context and has identified areas that need further research, for example the impact of different cultural beliefs on both teachers and learners in relation to inclusion. In conclusion, the study has demonstrated the unique contribution of action research in promoting continuous reflection, revision and intervention as indispensable procedures in the process of improving inclusive teaching and learning.
Supervisor: Miles, Susan; Dyson, Alan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: •inclusion, inclusive pedagogy, inclusive teaching, inclusive education, inclusive classroom