Identification of learning disabilities for implementation of individualized educational programme in taita-taveta county, public primary schools
Mwabili, Jeslinah Waleghwa Mwagodi
Kathuri, Nephat Justus
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The purpose of this study was to assess implementation of Individualized Educational Programme (IEP) by teachers, on learners with LD in Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to establish how teachers identify learners with learning disabilities. The study was grounded on Constructivist Theory of Instruction by Bruner, (1966). The study adopted descriptive research design and targeted 226 teachers trained in Special Needs Education (SNE), distributed in 46 public primary schools, the study sample comprised of 45 teachers and nine head teachers. The study was limited to teachers trained in Special Needs Education (SNE), and their respective head teachers, in public primary schools in Taita-Taveta County, Kenya. A questionnaire with simple and precise questions was formulated to adequately provide information on the research objectives and help to achieve meaningful conclusions on the topic of study. Test-retest method was applied to assess the reliability of the data collection instrument. Data collected was coded, cleaned, categorized and processed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Information analyzed was presented using tables and charts, accordingly. The results of this study provide useful information on effective use of IEP strategies by teachers. The results indicated that most teachers identified pupils with LD through writing, reading, comprehension, speech, behaviour, and their academic performance. Teachers, head teachers, assessment personnel, parents and other professionals were involved in the process of identification. Parents, especially mothers, were more concerned about their children's school work, and attended meetings organized by the school to discuss about their children’s academic problems. It was concluded that mechanisms that were used to identify students with LD in schools were mainly through assessing their performance, reading, writing and comprehension, levels of concentration in class, use of checklists in specific areas and their speech and behaviour. It was recommended that parents, classmates/peers and doctors, should be more involved more in identifying learners with LD. Frequency of teacher’s updates to the head teachers should be increased to enable teachers carry out early intervention measures. There is a need to encourage fathers to be more concerned about their children's school work, and further attend meetings organized by the school to discuss about their children’s academic problems.