Nature and Determinants of Educators’ Attitudes toward Teaching Special Needs Learners in a School of Skills

  • Andre Rowan Student
  • Mokgadi
Keywords: coping strategies, determinants of attitude, educational transformation, educator attitude, inclusive education, school of skills, special needs education, White Paper Six


This study explored the nature and determinants of educators’ attitudes toward teaching learners with special needs in a rural school of skills that was formerly an ordinary mainstream school. The study adopted a qualitative Grounded Theory approach located within the framework of the constructivist epistemology. Eleven educators (n=11) who were teaching both technical and academic subjects at the school of skills participated in the study. The semi-structured interview was employed as the sole data collection instrument and the coding principles underlying the Constructivist Grounded Theory were used to analyse data. The findings of the study revealed that educators had a positive attitude toward teaching special needs education at the selected school and highlighted the novel factors determining the educators’ attitudes such as both internal and external factors that motivated this positive attitude. The coping strategies identified by the educators replicated those reported in previous research. Palliative and direct coping actions, as well as an integration of these two were also reportedly employed by some participants. It was concluded that the group-based differentiation of the determinants of attitudes may be useful to influence educators’ attitudes at other special needs schools, or those undergoing a similar transitional process.

Author Biography


Professor Moletsane is my co-contributor in this article.


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