DEVELOPMENT OF A VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND TRANSITION PLANNING PROGRAMME

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CHAPTER 3 DEVELOPMENT OF A VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND TRANSITION PLANNING PROGRAMME

INTRODUCTION

T he first aim of this study is to identify the facets in the planning of a vocational training programme for intellectually disabled learners and to describe the necessary inputs to put this programme into action in Learners with Special Educational
Needs (LSEN) schools for intellectually disabled learners.
The Education White Paper 6 on Inclusive Education (Republic of South Africa Department of Education 2005:5) sets out to address the needs of all learners in one unitary education system. It moves from the categorisation of learners according to disability (medical model) to assessing the needs and levels of support required by individual learners to facilitate their maximum participation in the education system as a whole. The focus is on ensuring that there is sufficient differentiation in curriculum delivery to accommodate learner needs but it permits all schools to offer the same curriculum to learners while simultaneously ensuring variations in mode of delivery and assessment processes to accommodate all learners.
Research in the United States has identified a number of programme practices which are associated with the successful vocational training and transition planning of intellectually disabled learners (McDonnell Hardman, McDonnell & Kiefer-O’Donnell 1995:227). These practices include an Outcomes-based approach, person-centred transition planning and transition assessment, community referenced curriculum and instruction, an IVP, job placement prior to leaving school and the importance of family involvement as discussed in chapter 2. According to this framework a vocational training and transition planning programme for the intellectually disabled learners are developed.
As stated in the literature study a needs analysis is essential as a first step in programme planning.

NEEDS ANALYSIS

Though it is difficult to meet the needs of all the stakeholders, namely the Department of Education (RSA), the learners, the parents and the teachers the aim is to develop a programme that will satisfy as many stakeholders as possible. The Department of Education (RSA) expects special schools to adapt the National Curriculum Statement according to the needs of the learners (Republic of South Africa Department of Education 2004:1-244) as described later in this chapter.
The results from research studies shows that the conative development of intellectually disabled learners is adversely affected by continuous experiences of failure and they therefore do not set meaningful goals for their future (Zhang & Stecker 2001:301). The researcher’s lengthy experience with intellectually disabled learners has made it clear that they have very little awareness of occupations and employment related knowledge and skills as also confirmed by Sitlington et al (2000:137). It was thus not necessary to conduct a needs analysis with the intellectually disabled learners.
Research shows that there is a lack of easily accessible information for parents and young people about what future possibilities might be. Families say they want more information about choices; speakers from different agencies to talk to, resource packs for the young person and their family, examples of choices made by other learners, and links with other parents who had already been through the process (The road ahead – literature review: 1). No formal needs assessment was done by the researcher before commencement of the research.

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PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT OF A PROGRAMME

Because of the numerous disabilities of the intellectually disabled learner and the high expectations of the National Curriculum Statement the researcher aimed to develop a vocational training and transition planning curriculum within the school environment by adapting the National Curriculum Statement (Republic of South Africa Department of Education 2004:1-244) to suit the needs of the intellectually disabled learner and his/her family.
The planning and development of the programme was done according to the framework of vocational education and transition planning programmes in the United States of America as described in the literature study. A schematic representation of the programme is shown in Figure 3.1. Each sub section is discussed separately.

Adaptation to the National Curriculum Statement

Introduction

Curriculum adaptations are modifications that relate specifically to aspects of and contents of a curriculum. A curriculum adaptation is any adjustment or modification to learning, teaching and assessment environment, the assessment techniques, the support material that enhances a learner’s performance, the structure and number of learning programmes and assessment (Republic of South Africa Department of Education 2005:8).
The scale and extent of any curriculum adaptation was determined by the needs and strengths of the majority of the learners at the school or in a specific class. The learning programme had to be designed accordingly (Republic of South Africa Department of Education 2005:10).
Intellectual disability includes a variety of disabilities and these learners each have their own distinct way of learning and we should not work towards making them conform to the National Curriculum Statement but help them to be successful in their unique way (Landsberg 2005:418). The straddling of grades and phases widens the possibilities for the intellectually disabled learner in achieving success in learning.

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Curriculum straddling

The learners who experience barriers because of intellectual disability require a curriculum which straddles two or more grades of phases. Straddling is when a learner or group of learners at a specific grade or level work towards attaining assessment standards from more than one grade within learning areas or learning programmes (Republic of South Africa Department of Education 2005:21). Learning programmes which are designed to fit the individual needs of a learner may straddle both grades and phases. An example is where a learner experiences intellectual disability but does well in gardening

Designing down

Designing down (breaking down or scaffolding) is one of the important principles of outcomes-based Education and the RNCS (Republic of South Africa Department of Education 2005:23). In some learning areas designing down involves breaking down the assessment standard in order to build it up in a logical progressive way. Thus, designing down involves looking at an assessment standard and dividing this minimum expected set standard for the year end into smaller, achievable components which are spread across the duration of the year.
Curriculum straddling and designing down can be used effectively in curriculum adaptation, or in combination with other methods, depending on the severity of the intellectual disability.

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.3 AIMS OF THIS STUDY
1.4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.5 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1.6 CHAPTER DIVISION
2 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE STUDY
2.1 INTRODUCTION
2.2 DEVELOPMENT OF A PROGRAMME
2.3 INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY AND HOW IT INFLUENCES LEARNERS IN THEIR FUTURE PLANS AND JOB PLACEMENTS
2.4 VOCATIONAL TRAINING IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2.5 SOUTH AFRICAN VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND TRANSITION PLANNING PROGRAMMES AND EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES
2.6 POLICY AND LEGISLATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
2.7 VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND TRANSITION PLANNING PROGRAMME IN A CULTURAL DIVERSE SOCIETY
2.8 CONCLUSION
3 CHAPTER 3 DEVELOPMENT OF A VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND TRANSITION PLANNING PROGRAMME
3.1 INTRODUCTION
3.2 NEEDS ANALYSIS
3.3 PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT OF A PROGRAMME
3.4 Transition to adult independence and interdependent living
3.5 SUMMARY
4 CHAPTER 4 RESEARCH DESIGN
4.1 INTRODUCTION
4.2 RESEARCH QUESTION AND AIMS
4.3 RESEARCH strategies
4.4 RESEARCH METHODS
4.5 SUMMARY
5 CHAPTER 5 ANALYSIS OF RESULT
5.1 INTRODUCTION
5.2 ANALYSIS OF RESULTS
5.3 SUMMARY
6 CHAPTER 6 SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.1 INTRODUCTION
6.2 SUMMARY
6.3 CONCLUSION
6.4 RECOMMENDATIONS
6.5 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
6.6 CONCLUSION
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
DEVELOPING AND MANAGING A VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND TRANSITION PLANNING PROGRAMME FOR INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED LEARNERS

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