Perspectives of teachers on differentiated teaching in multi-cultural South African secondary schools. Studies in Educational Evaluation.‏

Document Type : Research Paper

Author

Perspectives of teachers on differentiated teaching in multi-cultural South African secondary schools. Studies in Educational Evaluation.‏

Abstract

South African teachers encounter numerous challenges in the creation of differentiated activities to
include diverse learner needs in effective teaching and learning. These challenges include the inability to
identify learning barriers and adapt the curriculum, teaching and assessment methods according to the
learning styles and readiness levels of learners. The study aimed to explore secondary school teachers’
(n = 262) perspectives on the implementation of differentiated instruction in public secondary schools
(n = 27), using qualitative and quantitative approaches. The results indicated that teachers cannot always
assist their learners when they need them; show them how to solve problems; or allow learners to work
on their own. In addition, various limitations, such as inadequate teacher training, large class sizes,
workload, undisciplined learners, lack of resources and parental involvement, second language
instruction, inadequate support services and socio-economic barriers contribute to the use of teacher-
centred methods. The study recommends that intervention programmes in the form of workshops on
how to create differentiated activities should be prioritised in the professional development of teachers.