OBJECTIVE: The interaction between teachers, classroom strategies and learners experiencing emotional
and behavioural barriers to learning and development in a system of inclusive education results in
multiple dynamics on different levels. Many teachers in mainstream education lack training to deal with
learners experiencing emotional and behavioural barriers. Resistance towards inclusive education is
therefore evident. This paper describes the process of developing an in-service training programme for
teachers who deal with learners with emotional and behavioural barriers in their classrooms.
METHOD: A process of action research was used to allow the researcher, in collaboration with 47
teachers from 2 primary schools, to develop a training programme to address the specific needs of
teachers in dealing with learners experiencing emotional and behavioural barriers in their classes.
Qualitative feedback from teachers and observations by the researcher and external observers were
used to evaluate the appropriateness of the training.
FINDINGS: Teachers experienced that appropriate classroom management strategies made a significant
difference in the behaviour of learners experiencing emotional and behavioural barriers. The training
affected teachers’ attitudes, teacher–learner interaction, learner behaviour and school organisation.
CONCLUSION: In-service training for teachers can affect the effective implementation of inclusive
education. This programme can be adapted to address the needs of teachers in other areas.