Parental Involvement: An Untapped Potential For Transforming Special Needs Education In Zimbabwe


Pedzisai Goronga , Jane Mutasa ,

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Volume 2 - June 2013 (06)


This study attempted to identify untapped potential within the cultural heritage of African communities that could be utilized in enhancing the running of inclusive programmes in Zimbabwe. The study was informed by the Negotiating Model by Dale (1996) where parents and professionals engage in negotiating and joint decision making, developing a shared perspective on their strengths, concerns and needs. A case study design was adopted and interview and observation guides were used as data gathering tools. A sample of fifteen parents, three regular and three specialist teachers participated in the study. Interviews were conducted to establish the type of involvement that suited all groups of participants. The study brought to light variability of extent and levels of involvement on all the teachers’ and parents’ groups. The non-specialist teachers were not keen to collaborate with parents while specialist teachers were for the practice. One group of parents was willing to be involved in classroom tasks but raised the great need for guidance on how they could master requirements needed thereof. The other parental group was hesitant. This latter group mentioned lack of knowledge and expertise in the general area of education as the deterrent factor to participation. Both parental groups indicated that they could participate in locally initiated programmes for supporting learners with disabilities. Constraints of lack of time and resources were a challenge as all parents expressed that they were busy with extra jobs for sustaining their own survival.


Cultural, parental, teacher, involvement, inclusive education, disability,constraints.


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