The integration of indigenous health knowledge systems into the basic education curriculum for learners with special education needs
The research focused mainly on the establishment of mechanisms on how to incorporate African Indigenous Health Knowledge Systems (AIHKS) into the education of Learners with Special Education Needs. In conjunction with the development of portraiture on the integration of African Indigenous Health Knowledge System in the targeted schools in the Free State Province (SA) and in Lesotho's Maseru district. In achieving this aim, the researcher explored learning and teaching practices through participative portraiture to establish innovative processes to incorporate the holism principles of the African Indigenous Health Knowledge System (AIHKS) in the Basic Education Curriculum for Learners with Special Education Needs. The researcher further explored Inclusive Education Policies to inform special needs education and learner-support in the context of Inclusive Education. A Portraiture was developed by respecting and acknowledging differences among all learners, such as class, ethnicity, gender, age, language, disability and HIV or other infectious diseases to make recommendations to change teaching methods, curricular attitudes, behaviour and the environment to meet the needs of all learners, based on the holism principles of AIHKS. Portraiture method, a qualitative method, included the interview process (which utilized the makhotla), observations, participant observations, drawings, play, dance and storytelling. Participants were parents, learners, and educators from developing schools (special schools in Free State Province, Thabo Mofutsanyana district) and developed school (special school in Lesotho, Maseru district). The educators were teaching learners with different disabilities, such as blindness, hearing impairments, intellectual barriers, and autism as well as able learners. Co-constructing this Participative Portraiture, data collection and analysis incurred simultaneously where makhotla, observation, interviews, participative observation, drawings, playing, dancing and storytelling were used as methods. Subsequently, findings from this research suggests that the integration of AIHKS, especially indigenous psychosocial health knowledge in the basic education curriculum for learners with special education needs is imperative. Learners will realize their full potential without being segregated or discriminated against, if exposed to this Inclusive Participative Portraiture. It noted that the utilization of storytelling, drawings and indigenous games like morabaraba, diketo, play and dance can benefit learners in different ways e.g. teaching of culture, self-identity and their indigenous norms. The research further observed that educators are resilient. They have the capability to adjust easily and work in a less resourceful situation as they sacrificed their time to support all learners who needed high levels of support. Freedman (2015 :7-8) stated that educators can differentiate teaching and learning by giving learners more time to finish an activity, by allowing learners' choice in what they learn because learners study more differently and remember what they have learnt for a longer period when given an opportunity to assimilate knowledge and to demonstrate what they have mastered using their preferred style of learning. These activities contribute to the self-identity formation of learners.
- Humanities