Investigating the challenges facing Itinerant Learning Support Educators (ilse) in the context of inclusive education in the Metro South Education District
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The study aims to understand the challenges facing the Itinerant Learning Support Educators in an Inclusive Education framework. At the onset of the study there were very limited research studies and literature available on the challenges facing Itinerant Learning Support Educators hence literature in the study drew on the development and history of Special Education towards a global shift with regard to Inclusive Education policy development. As such the literature was utilized to understand how global phenomena and policies in developed countries impact on local policy transformation and contexts. The study followed a qualitative research approach to explore the challenges facing Itinerant Learning Support Educators in performing their functions. To gain an in depth understanding of their perceptions a case study method was followed and data collection techniques included focus group interviews. The sample in this study comprised of 14 Itinerant Learning Support Educators. The data was analyzed using a thematic approach. The findings of this study highlighted that despite a shift towards Inclusive Education in South Africa, Itinerant Learning Support Educators found themselves challenged by a range of contextual issues that impacted on the effective delivery of inclusive principles and practices. The study recommends that the Department of Education should take cognisance of these challenges, review the job description of Itinerant Learning Support Educators and put clear guidelines and support structures in place to support them in functioning optimally within an Inclusive Education paradigm.