Everyone has the right to education. The main objective of any education system in a democratic society is to provide quality education for all learners, including those with physical, mental and socioeconomic challenges, so that they will be able to reach their full potential and contribute meaningfully to society throughout their lives. With the publication of the Education White Paper 6 in 2001, South Africa proclaimed its policy of inclusive education; however, this policy is not always clearly understood by educators. Addressing barriers to learning provides relevant and in-depth knowledge to prepare educators to teach all the learners in their class groups to the best of their ability.
Addressing barriers to learning covers the complete continuum of barriers to learning as reflected in Education White Paper 6, including the most vulnerable of them: those who are economically and educationally disadvantaged; those with physical, sensory, intellectual, and/or learning impairment; those who are subjected to xenophobic behaviour and those displaying challenging behaviour who are at risk of exclusion. This latest edition also includes a new section on discrimination and sociocultural injustice towards LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and intersex) learners. Case studies offer practical examples and activities provide opportunities for hands-on experience with classroom practice and management, collaboration with all role players and mobilisation of community involvement, which is at the heart of true inclusion.
Addressing barriers to learning is aimed at both prospective and current educators and other support professionals, including psychologists and therapists.