TEACHER CENTERED APPROACHES: THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR TODAY’S INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS
This study is an exploration on the kind of approaches teachers use in their schools and/or classrooms to deliver instruction in inclusive classrooms particularly whether or not learners who have Learning Disabilities (LD) benefit from these approaches. Six primary schools in urban, semi-urban and rural areas were randomly selected and data was collected through classroom observations, interviews and document analysis. Fourteen participants were interviewed. The findings reveal that teachers delivery of instruction were mostly teacher centered a move which seemed to leave some learners minimally benefitting from the teaching and learning process especially learners who have LD. Although participants embrace the concept of inclusive education, this seems to be on a theoretical basis since in practice it seems that learners who have LD were not given learning opportunities which allowed them to participate in the teaching and learning process. Finally, participants identify some barriers such as an examination oriented curriculum, class sizes as the main barriers to practicing learner centred approaches. The study challenges the traditional use of authoritarian approaches of teaching as one way of perpetuating exclusionary circumstances within Botswana schools as it leaves learners who have LD with little chance of accessing the curriculum. A dynamic constructive relationship between curriculum, teachers and learners is suggested, moving from‘teaching the curriculum’ to ‘understanding and developing inclusive curricula’ within a social constructivist discourse.