Teachers' experience in enhancing active participation of the physically challenged learners in a classroom.
Date of Award
Master of Education (MEd)
Institute for Educational Development, East Africa
Teachers occupy positions that carry unique responsibilities and opportunities.This could not be more relevant with regard to teachers in special schools. Teachers, who are beacons of knowledge, seem overwhelmed by those who thirst to know. That the Physically Challenged Learners (PCL), just like any other learners, need to lean in a free atmosphere that enables them to actively participate in the classroom process is not debatable. This view has been there since John Dewey's days in 1916. However, two things stick out as being pertinent to the successful implementation of a participatory classroom for the PCL: first, the attitude of teachers and learners and second, the severity of the disability.
This study sought to explore the teachers' experiences in fostering the active classroom participation of the PCL as well as their (teachers') perceptions which are an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Though it is difficult to ascertain the impact of the teachers' experiences on their classroom practices with regard to PCL active classroom participation, this study found that the two are inextricably related to each other. By use of face to face interviews and classroom observations, the study was able to capture teachers' experiences which translated into attitude, beliefs, views, and willingness; important tenets in determining enhancement of PCL active classroom participation. The data collected was then analyzed against relevant literature.The findings in general revealed that teachers' experiences, training and interaction with PCL lead to change of perception about these learners. In particular, the study found that teachers' initial encounters with PCL were characterized by shock, fear and general skepticism about these learners. However, upon further probing, these teachers revealed a different perception especially after they had either been trained or interacted with these learners for some time.Consequently, there is need for these teachers to be prepared in advance by being given opportunities to interact with PCL. This will demystify the myths and half truths that have been central in propagating negative perceptions among teachers that have often led to actions which undermine the fostering of active classroom participation of PCL. Since perceptions and pedagogy are entwined, these teachers' perceptions intrude directly into the classroom processes
Muchere Japheth Wanga. (2009). Teachers' experience in enhancing active participation of the physically challenged learners in a classroom. (Unpublished Masters Thesis). Dar es salaam: Aga Khan University