BARRIERS TO LEARNING IN DIVERSE CLASSROOMS: TEACHERS’ VOICES

Mubi F Mavuso

Abstract


This article focuses on barriers identified by teachers and how such barriers inhibit learning support processes. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory was used. The paper reports on qualitative study conducted with eighteen senior phase teachers in South Africa to explore and describe how they provide learning support for learners identified with specific learning difficulties in their classrooms. Data were collected through individual interviews, focus group interviews, document analysis and field notes were reflected in a journal. Data was analysed through thematic data analysis. The findings revealed that learners encountered barriers such as significant language difficulties; reading and writing difficulties, multiple barriers experienced by individual learners; contextual barriers and behavioural-barriers. Participants indicated that such barriers inhibited learning support processes and mentioned that they lacked specific competencies in addressing them. It is recommended that teachers to should be in the forefront of mediating the learning support processes in addressing barriers; collaborate with parents, the learners, the community and the district office; and collaboration between the Department of Education and Institutions of Higher Education.

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