Educating Learners with Down Syndrome Successfully: A Narrative Journey
AbstractThe aim of the article is to illustrate the important role that parents can play in the development of the education of learners with Down syndrome (DS). A literature review was done to obtain background information on the concept DS and on the history and possibilities of education for learners with DS, as well as on the role of the parent in the management of the education of learners with DS. A qualitative case study, focusing on the narrative approach was implemented to illustrate the management of the educational opportunities and thus, the self-actualisation of all learners with DS. The educational history of an academically successful girl with DS was followed in order to establish what lay behind her success. From the findings it can be deduced that parents and educators should collaborate to enhance the educational opportunities of learners with DS. The contribution this article makes is to convey to educators and parents the important role they can play in the advancement of the education of learners with DS, as a possible way to give these learners a better chance to live a meaningful life. The assumption is that if learners with DS receive optimal stimulation and encouragement from their parents and teachers in collaboration with one another, from an early age, their educational skills and self-actualisation will benefit to a large extent. This will improve their opportunities to become valued human beings.
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