This study investigated educators_ inclusive education implementation experiences in a rural school in the Amajuba district from policy to practice. In addition, this study was aimed at investigating the importance of parents, educators, and other stakeholders in the education of learners who experience barriers to learning. The aim was to gain an understanding of the inclusive education implementation experiences from the educators_ point of view. The participants_ perspective revealed that they believed the inadequate training of educators, unavailability of resources, overcrowded classes and poor support provided by the district officials were reasons why the implementation of inclusive education is not bearing fruits. Furthermore, the study investigated activities in which parents, teachers and other stakeholders were involved in the education of learners. The purpose was to identify both intrinsic and extrinsic barriers to learning and development which hindered learning in the classroom. The participants were purposefully sampled. To qualify for selection they should have been learning support educators in an inclusive primary school for at least five years.
The research design deemed suitable for this study was a case study. A case study aims to achieve an in-depth understanding of one person, situation or phenomenon. The selected case was an inclusive school in a rural area in the Amajuba District in KwaZulu-Natal. In addition, the study aimed to describe and explain the rich human experiences of the participants at the research site. The conceptual framework used in this study was the bioecological (systems theory), social constructivism and maturation theories. The chosen paradigm for this study was the interpretivist approach. The interpretivist approach guided the researcher in the research and also in the selection of participants and the method used for the study. The methodology suitable for this study was the qualitative research method, studying participants in their setting. Data collection techniques were open-ended interviews, participant observation and documents analysis. The type of data analysis that was used was thematic content analysis.
I found that educators are experiencing many challenges that hindered their progress in the implementation of inclusive education. These challenges, which also hinder learning, are poor socioeconomic status, poor parenting, learners travelling long distances to school and undiagnosed learning deficits. Amongst others, this study has implications for teaching practices regarding learners with learning disabilities in the rural school setting. It furthermore offers practical guidelines about ways that teachers can support learners continuously in practice in their classrooms.