Rebekka J. Jeza and Kakoma Lunetab
a School of Leadership and Education Sciences, University of San Diego, United States
b Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
(Received 10 October 2018, Final revised version received 11 November 2018)
Research has found effective teacher training should be sustained, intensive, collaborative, experiential, research-based, and relevant. Since White Paper #6 (2001), South Africa has invested in teacher training on inclusive practices. Two-hundred-twenty-five educators from three provinces in South Africa were surveyed on how effectively they believed they were trained in inclusive environments, how confident they were in working with diverse learners, and what adaptations and supports they used. In this mixed-method study, the quantitative analysis indicated pre-service teachers perceived their credential program had prepared them for working in an inclusive environment; however, current teachers were less confident about their training, and most university faculty did not believe that they were effectively trained. Qualitative analysis of responses indicated the educators were able to identify scaffolding and differentiation of instruction as inclusive practices, but they were less likely to provide examples of effective interventions they used. Based on the data from the survey, professional development workshops and consultation sessions were offered to both the schools and universities. Educators (n=116) completed evaluations of the professional development program that indicated the training was helpful and requested additional training. Recommendations include increasing the amount of time and availability of training, additional support from administration, and additional resources for meeting the needs of diverse learners.
Keywords: Inclusion, inclusive practices, professional development, teacher training