Inclusive practices for learners with intellectual disabilities in primary schools in Botswana: What are teachers doing to enhance inclusion?

Boitumelo Mangope


Students with moderate and severe ‘Intellectual Disabilities’ (ID) present unique challenges to school systems when they are included in general classrooms. Despite these challenges, the government of Botswana requires schools to implement inclusive intervention practices in the special unit classroom settings in order to enhance the chances for such students to be included in general education classrooms, and the classroom teacher is predominantly the person who plays a pivotal role in this process. This study aims to explore the inclusive teaching strategies employed by the special education teachers in the special unit classrooms in Botswana primary schools. Using a qualitative research approach, classroom observations, document analysis and face-to-face interviews were conducted with eight special education teachers from four schools about the teaching strategies they used to enhance the inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities into the general education classrooms. Content Data Analysis approach was adopted to analyse data. The findings indicated that most of the teachers in this study demonstrated some degree of knowledge on the generic strategies of teaching which were not specifically aligned to students with intellectual disabilities. Most of the teachers in the study used peer tutoring and group work. The findings of the study further showed that teachers had limitations in the knowledge and usage of systematic instructional procedures such as constant and or progressive time delay, backward and forward chaining and prompting.

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