Experiences of learners with disabilities in multi-grade classes: a case of selected special schools in Lusaka, Zambia.
The University of Zambia
The purpose of this research was to explore and establish whether the lived experiences of learners with disabilities in selected multi-grade primary classes in Lusaka District had the needed quality for promoting inclusive education. The study adopted an interpretative phenomenological research design, and involved a total of nine (9) participants who were selected using purposive sampling measures, to be specific homogeneous sampling. Research instruments comprised of semi-structured interview guides, focus group discussion guides and lesson observation schedules. The noted instruments and their administration procedures yielded qualitative data which was analyzed using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) method. This method of analysis allowed the researcher to categorize the collected data and generate themes from it in line with the objectives of the study. The study found that a number of approaches such as differentiated instruction, peer teaching, demonstration method and individualized method were incorporated to meet educational needs of learners with disabilities in multi-grade classes in special units in Lusaka district. However the study revealed that their experiences were constrained by teachers’ heavy workload, management issues, and poor reading materials with small size text for learners with visual challenges, and lack of sign language knowledge by teachers. Thus the study observed that the lived experiences of learners with disabilities in selected multi-grade primary classes in Lusaka district lacked the needed quality for promoting effective inclusive education. In light of those findings, the study recommended that multi-grade schools be provided with adequate teaching and learning materials; that teachers be in-serviced on how to use constructivist approaches and sign language so as to cater for various needs of learners with disabilities.
Children with disabilities--Education--Zambia. , Children with disabilities--Zambia--Education. , Inclusive education--Zambia. , People with disabilities--Zambia--Education.