SCHOOL-BASED SUPPORT TEAM MEMBERS’ UNDERSTANDING OF CURRICULUM DIFFERENTIATION AND ENHANCEMENT IN RURAL SOUTH AFRICA: A NARRATIVE INQUIRY

Dipane Hlalele, Zakhokhuhle Jiyane, Sibusiso Radebe

Abstract


Curriculum differentiation remains an inevitable, significant, inherent and desirable element in dealing with our schools’ responsiveness to diverse learning needs. The school-based support teams (SBSTs) add value by facilitating the implementation of inclusive learning and care. This study explores and documents SBST members’ understanding and enhancement efforts concerning curriculum differentiation at a rural school where learners are regarded as underachievers, progressed and/or untrainable. A case study design utilising purposive (intentional) sampling was employed for the selection of participants based on the fact that they were implementing the curriculum differentiation directives as required by the Education White Paper 6 (EWP6, 2001) as well as the policy on inclusivity. Drawing from appreciative inquiry, this qualitative case study gleaned data from six participants, each representing a different portfolio committee of the SBST. The participants included a parent/caregiver, teacher, head of department (HOD), deputy principal, and therapists, who were prompted to provide written/spoken narratives for data generation purposes. The interpretations of these narratives involved dissecting their understanding and enhancement plans concerning curriculum differentiation at their school. Using this narrative analysis frame, data analysed yielded rich findings. It was found that a differentiated but complementary understanding of curriculum differentiation resulted from differentiated enhancement endeavours. It is recommended that a concerted, collaborated and cohesive understanding of curriculum differentiation be inculcated in all roleplayers in order to add value to teaching, learning and support; hence optimising the impact and responsiveness SBSTs may have in addressing barriers to learning and development.

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