Current learning support in an effort to address the learning needs of learners with learning disabilities tends to focus on their language abilities (reading and writing), without enough emphasis on the cognitive manifestations that could contribute to barriers to learning, if not addressed appropriately from within the school system. In this study the organisation skills of learners with learning disabilities were studied to determine their true nature. The research was undertaken with Grade 8 and 9 pupils in a private school for learners with learning disabilities. The research was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, assessment data of the learners with learning disabilities were analysed. Three different categories of learning needs regarding the organisation skills of learners with learning disabilities were identified. In the second phase, these categories of learning needs were explored using an Ethnographic Approach with Action Research as design. The outcomes of the action research were examined by analysing behaviours and written products of the learners, consistently within the context of the learning situation. It was established that the barriers to learning regarding the organisation skills of these learners are at least in part intrinsic and therefore make a strong appeal to the learning system for support. Learning support should be seen as an integral part of the teaching and learning process in all schools. It was therefore clear that a Systemic approach should be used to address the barriers to learning that learners with learning disabilities experience. A different perspective than that of the fragmented medical model was taken in exploring and addressing these needs. It was a shift towards a more holistic Ecological Systemic Approach.
Thesis (PhD (Educational Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.