Learner Diversity in the Classrooms: The Interplay of Language of Instruction, Gender and Disability

Volume 05 - Issue 03
Mwajabu K. Possi Joseph Reginard Milinga
Pages: 28-44 Download Count : 78 View Count: 102 Facebook Share on Google+ Save to Zotero Save to Mendeley

Abstract:


The research was conducted to look into learner diversity in inclusive classrooms focusing on language of instruction, gender and disability issues, and their implications for education practices. It used a qualitative approach to obtain data addressing the research problem from two inclusive secondary schools in Dar es Salaam region, Tanzania. A purposive sampling was used to obtain the schools and research participants who were teachers and students. Open ended interviews, classroom observations, and focus group discussions were used in data collection. The findings have indicated challenges in teaching mixed classes by teachers as well as students in such classes; especially those with disability. However, interactions between girls and boys were generally positive although the latter dominated in some classroom conversations. It is recommended that all teachers in inclusive schools should be trained on how to handle students with special needs in particular, and knowledge of learner diversity generally, during their initial-teacher training and further enhanced through continued in-service trainings. Lastly, it is recommended that another study, using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, be conducted using a bigger sample involving other types of participants with special needs; the parents of children in special needs should participate in the proposed study.

Keywords

  • disability
  • gender dominance
  • inclusive education
  • language of instruction
  • learner diversity
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