School Counsellors supporting teachers implementing inclusive education in South African schools

[Speaker] Fourie, Jean V:1
1:University of Johannesburg, South Africa (South Africa(Republic of South Africa))

South African teachers face many difficulties in implementing the countries policy of inclusive education. Teachers from twenty schools reported over-crowded classrooms, lack of specialised pedagogy and limited teaching resources as factors impeding the full integration of pupils with special needs into their mainstream classes. Even though the inclusive education policy has been in place for over ten years, many teachers still experience practical obstacles and thus rely on the school counsellor for guidance. This study investigated the role of school counsellors in supporting teachers to implement inclusive practices. Although counsellors established relationships with speech and occupational therapists, insufficient funding for these specialised services resulted in counsellors creatively improvising their helping practices for teachers and pupils with special needs. School counsellors thus performed a vital role in helping teachers to realistically integrate these pupils by differentiating the curriculum, adapting assessments and modifying the learning environment to account for the situational realities.
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