An exploration of teachers’ experiences of curriculum adaptation to support learners with diverse learning difficulties.
Msomi, Simangele Rosemary.
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The study explored teachers’ experiences of curriculum adaptation to support learners with diverse learning difficulties in rural mainstream schools, Sayidi district, KwaZulu-Natal. I sought to understand teachers’ experiences on adapting the curriculum to support learners experiencing various learning difficulties when delivering the curriculum. The South African education system has adopted an inclusive education approach to ensure that different learners were provided with the necessary support to access subject content during curriculum delivery. The school curriculum needs to be modified to adapt to the new circumstances or priories. The study was a qualitative inquiry, employing the interpretive paradigm. I used the constructivist theory to explore teachers' experiences of curriculum adaptation and how they assisted learners with diverse learning needs at the two schools in Sayidi. Data were generated through semistructured interviews and classroom observation during teaching. Four teachers from the two schools were selected. Two Grade 7 teachers from a primary school and two Grade 8 teachers from a high school participated in the study. Document analysis was also conducted to understand participants' lesson plans and assessment activities. The findings revealed that teachers have do possess some knowledge of curriculum adaptation. However, they experienced challenges in implementing the curriculum due to large classes. Teachers also faced difficulties in modifying lesson plans to provide a variety and change for the different needs of learners. The study found that the classroom's disruptive ehaviour was a hindrance and felt they were not prepared enough to deal with it. My recommendation includes the need to address the challenges in schools and for stakeholders to work collaboratively to ensure that teachers are continuously equipped with the knowledge, skills to adapt curriculum and broadening different curriculum aspects. Teachers also need additional training on different curriculum strategies to support learners in various learning environments, especially in rural mainstream schools.