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TitleVoice, disability and inclusion: A case study of biology learners with cerebral palsy
AuthorJohannes, Eleanor M.
SubjectVoice
SubjectDisability
SubjectInclusion
SubjectLow expectations
SubjectSpecial Education
SubjectCerebral Palsy
SubjectCollective case study
SubjectQualitative research
SubjectEducation White Paper 6
SubjectBarriers to Learning and Development
Date2021-11-24T11:32:06Z
Date2021-11-24T11:32:06Z
Date2006
AbstractPhilosophiae Doctor - PhD
AbstractConcern has been raised that South Africa does not have a sufficient supply of scientists and engineers in the 21st century. Yet, the potential that resides in learners with cerebral palsy is often not recognised or realised by policy makers. It is argued that society cannot afford to deprive itself of the potential for scientific progress that resides, and all too often remains untapped, in the minds of people with disabilities (Burgstahler, 1994, 1995; Burgstahler and Nourse, 2000). The study contends that the under-representation of black learners with cerebral palsy (from disadvantaged backgrounds) in career fields and higher education programmes related to biology is not unrelated to: (i) our sociopolitical history; (ii) the "outcome" of a particular method and content of teaching; (iii) lack of role models, i.e. successful professionals with physical disabilities; and (iv) the low expectations of learners, teachers, parents and the society as a whole. The purpose of the study was first of all to listen to the voices of learners with cerebral palsy in an attempt to find out if (and why) they have low expectations regarding career prospects in the biology fields. Secondly, it was to uncover the various barriers that might have contributed to such low expectations and under-representation of learners with cerebral palsy in biology related careers. The central concern of the study was whether or not black learners with cerebral palsy from disadvantaged backgrounds had low expectations of (career) possibilities in biology, and if so, why? A qualitative research design (in terms of five critical stages espoused by Carspecken, 1996) was used as framework for the study. In addition, in-depth interviews were conducted in an attempt to foreground the voices of the learners. An analysis of the results and findings indicated black learners (with cerebral palsy) with above-average performance in biology, mathematics and physical science, expressed an early interest and love for science and biology and a desire to pursue higher education studies related to those fields. However, the study found that learners with cerebral palsy who entered higher education biology and science related programmes did not complete their studies. Furthermore, that the under-representation of black learners with cerebral palsy, especially from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, could be linked to low expectations from teachers, academics in higher education institutions, parents, medical staff and guidance counsellors. The study contends further that if transformation is about removing all forms of discrimination, then the context where the potential of learners are developed - namely the schools, homes, workplace, and higher education institutions - needs to be re-examined. Moreover, the study attempted to raise awareness of the importance of an inclusive biology curriculum that: The study contends further that if transformation is about removing all forms of discrimination, then the context where the potential of learners are developed - namely the schools, homes, workplace, and higher education institutions - needs to be re-examined. Moreover, the study attempted to raise awareness of the importance of an inclusive biology curriculum that: (i) includes flexible teaching approaches, accommodation strategies and assistive technologies that adequately accommodate learners with cerebral palsy in the biology classroom; (ii) explores partnerships between various stakeholders to heighten awareness of mentoring, internship programmes and role models in biology and related careers; and (iii) effectively prepares and facilitates transition of black learners with cerebral palsy to biology related career fields in higher education and the workplace. (i) includes flexible teaching approaches, accommodation strategies and assistive technologies that adequately accommodate learners with cerebral palsy in the biology classroom; (ii) explores partnerships between various stakeholders to heighten awareness of mentoring, internship programmes and role models in biology and related careers; and (iii) effectively prepares and facilitates transition of black learners with cerebral palsy to biology related career fields in higher education and the workplace.
PublisherUniversity of the Western Cape
Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/11394/8587