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The educational and psychological support of educators to include learners from child-headed homes in urban classrooms

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dc.contributor.author Taggart, Nadia
dc.date.accessioned 2008-08-25T06:28:06Z
dc.date.available 2008-08-25T06:28:06Z
dc.date.issued 2008-08-25T06:28:06Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/908
dc.description.abstract Learners affected and infected by HIV/AIDS have been given priority status in the development of inclusive education. The Department of Education should develop and support the personal and professional self of educators as torch bearers of its educational policy. This inquiry attempted to understand educators’ teaching experiences to establish what educational and psychological support was needed to better include such learners. The information obtained may enable District Based Support Team’s (DBST’s) and School Based Support Team’s (SBST’s), as well as educational psychologists to develop educators, as limited research has been done in this regard. In this inquiry the data collection methods included 16 questionnaires completed by educators, an individual interview with a principal as well as two focus group interviews (with educators, and then with SBST and School Management Teams (SMT’s) members combined). Collages were visual representations of educators’ experiences and aided group discussions. Data obtained was analysed using the constant comparative method to determine the common themes and sub themes describing educators’ experiences over and above the identified educational and psychological support they needed to better include child-headed family learners within their classrooms. The findings presented suggest orphan status awareness at schools cannot be taken for granted. In coping with the effects of orphan-hood, learners presented with characteristic barriers such as: learning difficulties, incomplete school work and homework, failure to participate, school absenteeism, hunger, concentration difficulties, tiredness and sleeping in class, neglected appearance, behavioural difficulties, signs of sexual abuse, and accelerated adulthood. Efforts to create supportive learning environments included: impartial treatment, learning support provision, accessing support services and meeting basic needs for food, clothing, love, belongingness, reassurance, motivation and encouragement. Educators iii related accompanying negative psychological experiences (i.e. feeling sadness, distress and pain, as well as being emotionally drained and experiencing a sense of frustration at not knowing how to help or feeling unable to help). Identified educational and psychological support included: capacity building through contextualized and customized in-service training programmes, financial incentives and motivation, improved resources, increased governmental involvement, accessing multidisciplinary support services, community support and self care. Educators need to be supported and developed within a framework of whole school development if the goals of building health promoting schools within an inclusive education system are to be realised. Recommendations included: (i) Compelling stakeholders and health professionals to inform school and district based support teams of a learner’s orphan status. (ii) Building pre-service and in-service capacities through modules or customized workshops, on the identification, support and referral of learners from child-headed homes, basic counselling skills as well as self care awareness and educator burn out. (iii) Schools must develop financial incentives and motivation schemes by fund raising, obtaining sponsorships and ‘granting leave’ to deserving educators. Resource sharing was also encouraged. (iv) Government should conduct needs analyses at grass roots level to ensure equitable support service provision relative to the number of learners from child-headed homes at a school. (v) Educational psychologists or school counselors on behalf of school based support teams can co-ordinate Community Building Approach principles as one way of sharing the burden of care amongst interested stakeholders and community members. en
dc.description.sponsorship Prof. Jace Pillay en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Mainstreaming in education en
dc.subject Inclusive education en
dc.subject In-service training of teachers en
dc.subject Children of AIDS patients en
dc.title The educational and psychological support of educators to include learners from child-headed homes in urban classrooms en
dc.type Thesis en

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