There is a growing phenomenon of employing facilitators in support of learners with learning disabilities in schools offering inclusive education; however there is a scarcity of literature internationally regarding the decision-making models used to make this critical decision. Furthermore, there is also no research done in South Africa regarding facilitators, nor on decision-making models used to determine the need for facilitators or how they should be hired. In spite of the benevolent intentions of parents and teachers who assign facilitators to learners with disabilities, research shows that facilitators are employed according to perceived needs rather than real needs.
The research conducted in this study is qualitative in nature; the narrative case study explores the deliberation process of employing facilitators in a manner that provided a deeper understanding of the phenomenon. The study focused on three different schools (Remedial school, Traditional private school and Montessori) that perceive themselves as inclusive primary schools. The purpose of the study was to understand the decision-making process of the various stakeholders (parents, teachers, and facilitators) involved in making the decision to employ facilitators.
Through the case the three respective schools were categorised into proactive, reactive or passive, based on their approach to appointing facilitators for special needs learners. It is evident from the case studies that the proactive school (Remedial school) had better success with facilitators than either the reactive (Montesorrri School) or the passive school (traditional private school). The pro-active school displayed a more coherent successful system amongst all stakeholders in the decision to employ a facilitator, while the passive school was somewhat functional mostly because the stakeholders understood the needs of the child. However the system employed by the reactive school was chaotic as all stakeholders were dissatisfied and the learners who were being facilitated suffered the most.