Challenges of using collaborative teaching strategies by teachers of learners with hearing impairments in Kaaga primary school for the deaf. Imenti North District, Kenya
Despite global efforts and efforts by the government of Kenya to improve education for learners with hearing impairment, schools for these learners have continued to perform poorly in National Examination. Kaaga school for the deaf although, one of the oldest schools for children with HI has been ranked among the bottom five schools in KCPE2005-2007. Since deafness affects language development, speech development and intelligibility which are very crucial for learning, techniques are designed early enough to help the child cope with education challenges. Such techniques are auditory training, speech training and total communication. To be able to use them effectively one needs to use collaborative teaching strategy. This study was concerned with challenges of using collaborative teaching strategy on learners with hearing impairment. The study was conducted at Kaaga School for the Deaf- Imenti North District, Kenya. The purpose of the study was to investigate challenges of using collaborative teaching strategy on children with HI and come up with suggestion of overcoming the challenges. This was done by examining different variables using descriptive case study design. The target population was the head teacher and 21 teachers, a total of 22 subjects. Purposeful sampling was used in the study. The sample size constituted of the head teacher and 21teachers. Data was collected using questionnaires for the head teacher and the teachers. Observation checklist was also used for lessons and physical facilities. A pilot study was conducted at Isiolo School for the deaf. The purpose of piloting was to ensure validity and reliability of research instruments. Data was analysed qualitatively using thematic approach and quantitatively using descriptive statistics. Study findings revealed that majority (42.9%) of the teachers had taught for less than five years an indication that they had little experience which is vital when it comes to teaching pupils with HI. Additionally, teaching strategies like lectures (95.2%), pair group teaching (57.1%) and team teaching were rarely used in teaching at KSD. On the other hand, teachers emphasized on demonstrations (l 00%), question and answer (95.2%) and class discussions (90.5%). The study identified several challenges associated with team teaching which included variation in sign language (66.67%), lack of adequate support staff to assist special needs teachers (52.38%), and lack of enough teaching staff(33.33%) among others. It was also established that Kaaga School for the deaf had most of the facilities and equipment required in teaching learners with HI. However, majority (92.9%) of these facilities were not suitable for teaching children with HI. Additionally, the school did not completely have interpreters, teacher aids and assistive listening devices. This study therefore recommends that the government in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders should work together to harmonize sign language and employ enough skilled teachers. Furthermore, school administrators should provide more teaching aids to boost and assist in collaborative teaching. Similar studies are suggested with other methods of teaching for example co-teaching, and differentiated instruction. Further research is also required with other forms of impairments since this study dealt with only hearing impairment.