The Whole thesis is in Afrikaans: Epilepsy is a phenomenon that can manifest in a variety of ways, which differ mainly in severity, appearance, aetiology, effect and control thereof. In this study a lack of knowledge and education about epilepsy is pointed out as a factor that was neglected over the years. It is of utmost importance to distinguish between three main categories of epilepsy as all three types have a restraining effect that may leave any learner vulnerable. The popular belief about the concept epilepsy until recently did not recognize the type of epilepsy where a disturbance in consciousness or relapse in consciousness only occurred as in the case with elementary partial attacks (temporal and frontal lobe epilepsy). Ignorance about temporal and frontal lobe epilepsy, as well as the fact that the physical symptoms of this type of epilepsy are very subtle in nature, may be the cause why acceptance of this condition has been slow or undervalued. In reality learners with lobe epilepsy are not regarded as disabled and should such a learner not be diagnosed and not receive the correct treatment, he/she will not be able to function optimally. The researcher has made a study of epilepsy as well as the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, self image impact on the learner in family and school context. The impact of epilepsy on the primary school learner was studied from a gestalt point of view. In this study the researcher employed both a quantitative and qualitative research approach. It was therefore fitting to formulate a research question and a hypothesis. The research question formulated for this study is as follows: What is the knowledge basis of teachers regarding learners with lobe epilepsy? The empirical study indicated that the researcher could provide an answer to the research question by way of semi-structured interviews that indicated that the knowledge basis of the teachers was not sufficient to identify learners with this phenomena. The researcher determined through these interviews that teachers experienced a need to extend their knowledge about temporal and frontal lobe epilepsy. The hypothesis formulated for this study is as follows: Should information and clear guidelines regarding the identification of a learner with lobe epilepsy be offered to teachers, the learner with lobe epilepsy would be identified timeously in the school system. The researcher did a pre-test on the knowledge levels on lobe epilepsy among teachers by way of questionnaires. The pre-test was followed by a structured information session after which an after-test was done by way of questionnaires to determine the change in the teachers’ knowledge basis. The empirical study showed that the teachers’ knowledge basis increased due to the information session offered to them. After this study the teachers could identify learners and refer them for diagnosis and treatment as a result of an increased knowledge basis about this phenomena. The study was followed up by guidelines offered to the teachers on identifying the primary school learner with temporal and frontal lobe epilepsy.
Thesis (DPhil (Social Work))--University of Pretoria, 2006.