The experience of grade 8 and 9 learners in a mainstream high school after attending a remedial primary school

Combrink, Amanda
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Historically in South Africa, learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and who experienced a barrier to learning were either sent to a special school or did not attend school at all. The move towards an inclusive education society changed this; all learners are now allowed to be educated in a single mainstream education system. It is important to discover what issues learners with SEN experience in mainstream schools in order for educators to determine how to improve the system. Research has shown the importance of listening to the voices of learners who are marginalised in school in order to do so. This study explores the experiences of learners who have moved from a remedial primary school to a mainstream high school by giving them the opportunity to let their voices be heard. A literature review done on inclusion and voices revealed that there is a lack of information regarding how these learners experience school. Data gathered from individual interviews, journals and message-in-a-bottle questions revealed that learners find the transition from a remedial primary school to a mainstream high school very difficult. The fact that they had attended a remedial school brought with it certain labels and levels of marginalisation. Such learners have to work very hard to overcome a number of challenges in high school.
Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF EDUCATION (INCLUSIVE EDUCATION) at the UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND FEBRUARY 2014