AIM AND OBJECTIVES The investigation aimed to determine how the learning of the life sciences is facilitated (mediated) in special schools for blind learners and to establish how the lessons learnt from this experience could be implemented to the advantage of blind learners in the Senior Phase and Further Education and Training Band in inclusive Outcomes-based education settings. METHODOLOGY Educators and blind learners were interviewed through the use of the Qualitative Inquiry methodology as well as its techniques and strategies for data gathering. Analysis of the transcripts resulted in the development of themes/codes discussed in the research investigation. RESULTS Educators spent a good amount of time and effort with blind learners in the biology and life sciences classrooms. It appeared as if the pastoral role of the educator predominantly exceeded the teaching of biology and life sciences to these learners. Further, it became evident that the emphasis did not fall strongly enough on the achievement of the outcomes envisaged with the biology curriculum but more on the establishment of a caring and supportive classroom environment. CONCLUSIONS Biology and other life sciences subjects have much potential for the blind learners in South Africa but they are not offered at some of the schools or efficiently mediated due to educators’ reluctance, lack of knowledge and resources. Learning mediation strategies to make biology and life sciences more accessible to blind learners could be explored.
Thesis (PhD (Curriculum and Instructional Design and Development))--University of Pretoria, 2006.