The Roles and Functions of Support Teachers for Secondary School Learners with Visual Impairment
Keywords:Visual Impairment, Disability, Blind, Support Teacher, Human Rights, Education System in Thailand
The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles and functions of the Support Teachers (ST) of the visually impaired (VI) in Thailand. Being a blind man, I rely largely on reading from my fingertips. The literature review was based on the study of all available English language printed materials that are transcribed in Braille, such as Braille printed copies of books and articles. In this particular study, in order to conduct the interviews, my principal advisor kindly supported me by doing the field work together. The setting involved purposive sampling that was used to identify 30 participants who had experience of the Support Teacher’s role and function in the education of the VI students in three schools at Nakohn Ratchisima, Northeastern Thailand. There were four focus group interviews. Interview data and document review were integrated to answer the main research questions and specific researcher questions. Based on “Deep Listening Coding”, the findings were presented in nine categories. Four categories were integrated to describe the roles: (1) Supporter’s role, (2) Coordinator’s role, (3) Trainer’s role, and (4) Counselor’s role. The other five categories were integrated to summarize the functions of the Support Teachers: (1) Provide Material as needed, (2) Orientation and Mobility (OM) for all blind students, (3) Facilitate IT support, (4) Assist Physical and Mental tasks, and (5) Coordinate stakeholder Support. The research reported in this study made a significant contribution to our knowledge of the important roles and functions that Support Teachers play in Thai education system, especially for visually impaired (VI) and revealed the benefits to the society, as well as to the Support Teachers, school administrators, and policy makers.
Keywords : Visual Impairment, Disability, Blind, Support Teacher, Human Rights, Education System in Thailand
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Copyright@HRD Journal, Burapha University