SA Journal of Education, Vol 31, No 3 (2011)

The geographies of inclusion of students with disabilities in an ordinary school

Jabulani Ngcobo, Nithi Muthukrishna


With the release of Education White Paper 6: Special Needs Education — Building
an Inclusive Education and Training System the issue of inclusive schooling has
formed a growing part of the education debate in South Africa. There have been inclusive
education pilot projects undertaken by the national and provincial education
departments and various school-based initiatives that have engaged with inclusive
education policy implementation. This study explored one school-based initiative
that aimed to include children with disabilities and implement the imperatives of
Education White Paper 6. The research participants were five teachers and the
school principal. Data collection techniques included in-depth semi-structured interviews,
non-participant observations in classrooms and document analysis. The
findings in the study emphasize the importance of spatiality to understanding how
ideological and structural forces impinge on a school that is grappling with the inclusion
of students with disabilities. The study highlights how the everyday individual
and cultural practices in the specific school spaces play out to reinforce dominant
normalizing discourses of traditional forms of special education.

doi: 10.15700/saje.v31n3a541

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