Chapter 1The ProblemIntroductionOur challenges encountered are not to educate the children we used to have or want to have, but to educate the children who come to the schoolhouse door.” —H. G. Well (2017)Wells’ (2017) quote reminds special education teachers of their responsibility to teach ALL children, including those deemed difficult to teach. From the time when Senate approved the Education for All, learners with difficulty in remembering and concentrating come to the schoolhouse door, and public SPED centers have been obliged to provide them a suitable educational program.
Licit commands in EFA, want that schools to offer specially experienced teachers with the skills and knowledge to help these learners progress their educational achievement and functional performance; yet, currently, there is a need of SPED teachers with such qualifications (IDEA 601c.6).Some of the best well-known lived experiences in educating learners with difficulty in remembering and concentrating are the capacity to deliver instruction (Ramorola, 2013). For learners diagnosed, learning in the schoolroom can be somewhat a challenge.
It is the work of a SPED teacher, to provide accommodations to the learner needs so they can more likely to get to and gain the content. SPED teachers, yield in the arrangement of data to learners, which start with understanding what is to be instructed (Dean, Hubbell, & Pitler, 2012). Since it is the accountability of a SPED teacher to teach learners, it is vital for SPED teachers to validate their knowledge in teaching to enhance learners’ educational practices. SPED educators can reinforce support the education of learners with difficulty in remembering and concentrating through the use of differentiated instructions (Kluth, 2013). Among this procedure, SPED educators implement an adjusted methodology for teaching the educational curriculum (Brownell et al., 2012). At the point that special education teachers can modify the curriculum to learners’ needs, interests, and strengths, they can give a flexible method to good teaching (Dixon et al., 2013). In England, many SPED teachers quest for chances to improve their teaching competencies (Wearmouth, 2001, p.78). Likewise he found that SPED teachers were less likely to leave their job if they were provided with chances to learn on the job. Therefore, it is quite reasonable that SPED teachers’, as far as their knowledge, abilities and experiences to teach learners with difficulty in remembering and concentrating, be prioritized to be practically successful. It is being mentioned by Dr. Nancy Pascual, a record SPED advocate in the Philippines -that as a SPED teacher, she believes that educating exceptional children could be one of the greatest experiences for SPED teachers as they can apply and practice almost all the concepts that they have learned in school (SEAMEO INNOTECH Journal, 2011). In teaching exceptional children, she says that she utilizes differentiated learning.This study had to dig whether SPED teachers in Zamboanga Sibugay had some advancement in their lived- experiences in teaching, in order to be named as effective professionals. It was also being emphasized that the giving of instruction in the schoolroom is provided first by the teacher. It was likewise being stressed that the giving of instruction in the schoolroom is given first by the teacher. The usefulness of teachingdepends on how active teacher offers teaching to the learners (Marschark & Elizabeth, 2010).It is the purpose of this study to deeper into the concerns of the SPED teachers as it enabled them to clarify their lived-experiences, that make common sense of their experiences as SPED teachers, how they see and comprehend factors that add to their job, how they understand their connections and encounters as a SPED teachers, just as how these encounters add to their teaching. Hopefully this study will meet the standards of being a SPED teacher to resolve the challenges they experienced along the way.Perspective of the ResearcherThe researcher is Maria Teresa Ugpo-Larotin, 38 years old and presently residing at MSU-Belt, Poblacion, Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay. Married with 2 children and has been teaching learners with multiple disabilities for eleven years. Her love towards her job, reaching her to advocate special education program in the community and feeding DIFREM learners who belong to a indigent families. The researcher is a BEED graduate with general education as her field of concentration from the Holy Name University-Tagbilaran City. She is a master holder, in Guidance and Counseling, yet, unused in her present teaching job as she is dealing learners having special education needs. Though a non-holder of special education degree, she had been a scholar grantee under the auspices of the Department of Education sent in Davao City (University of Southeastern Philippines) to study special education which could be the reason she has been hired as a SPED teacher in Buug SPED Center, Buug Zamboanga since 2008 up to the present. She is presently enjoying the position as SPED Teacher II. Having developed her passion for special children, her desire to finish graduate studies is awakened, thus, has enrolled at Saint Columban Colleges under the master’s program ” Master of Arts in Education major in Special Education to further her knolwedge and skills in dealing with LSENs, much more her pupils who are having difficulty in remembering and concentrating. It is the researcher’s view that she is an interpretivist. As such, this study leans on interpretivism as she believes that results of this study which are to be drawn upon the lived experiences of SPED teachers can be a grand contribution to helping SPED teachers teach the learners with mental difficulties or mental disabilities learn from the inspiring truths out of this phenomenological study to realize teaching the DIFREM learners. Despite the lived experiences, the SPED teachers have their own way of experiencing self-pride as their dedication and commitment coupled with industry and resourcefulness are good lead to devising and implementing their classroom tasks to address concerned learners. Conceptual Framework The conceptual framework of the study is shown in Figure 1.Figure 1 Conceptual Framework of the StudyFrom the figure above, this study focused on the lived experiences of SPED teachers teaching learners with difficulty in remembering and concentrating. From the responses of the target participants and findings of the study, an implication to policy and practice may be drawn as the output of this research.From the philosophical view of Husserl (1983), lived experiences are the underlying point and final point of phenomenological study. In particular, lived experience, as it is explored and agreed in qualitative study, is an illustration and understanding of a researcher or research subject’s human experiences, choices, and options and how those factors influence one’s view of knowledge. Lived experience additionally refers to a representation of the experiences and choices of a given person, and the knowledge that they gain from these experiences and choices. It also consists of the reflection of our own conscious experiences, as we experience them (Husserl 1983). From the major findings, an implication can be drawn as the final output: that teaching LSENs, especially, those learners that have difficulty in remembering and concentrating is difficult and not an easy thing as teachers must need to understand the special needs of the learners and should really work diligently for their learning. Despite varied challenges though some unsolved, teachers go through their way by learning to be contented and show no regrets. descriptive phenomenologyof Husserl is the direct exploration, analysis, anddescription of particular phenomena, as free aspossible from unexamined presuppositions,aiming at maximum intuitive presentation’descriptive phenomenologyof Husserl is the direct exploration, analysis, anddescription of particular phenomena, as free aspossible from unexamined presuppositions,aiming at maximum intuitive presentation’Statement of the ProblemThis study assessed the lived experiences of SPED teachers teaching learners with difficulty in remembering and concentrating. It was carried out in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay- selected SPED teachers as research participants teaching learners with difficulty in remembering and concentrating . It was conducted this school year 2018-2019. Specifically, this study sought answers to the succeeding questions: 1. What are the lived experiences of SPED teachers teaching learners with difficulty in remembering and concentrating?2. Based on the findings, what implication can be drawn from the study? Scope and Limitations of the StudyThis study observed some research parameters, thus, its scope and limitation is detailed below serving as guide of the researcher. Subject Matter. This study focused on determining the lived experiences encountered by non-SPED major teachers teaching special education, especially, those teachers handling learners with difficulty in remembering and concentrating. Research Environment and Timeline.This study was conducted in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay focusing on SPED teachers teaching learners with difficulty in remembering and concentrating in SPED centers that offer special education. Research Participants. This study covered SPED teachers in Zamboanga Sibugay province and who are catering the special educational needs, particularly, of learners with difficulty in remembering and concentrating. Research Design. This study employed qualitative research design, specifically, phenomenology, to gather important data on the lived experienced of SPED teachers handling learners with mental disability. Research Methods. This study being qualitative in nature utilized in-depth interview so as to answer the specific problems posed in this inquiry. With the research participants, a one-on-one interview was used with the target participants to learn about their lived experiences as a SPED teachers. Significance of the StudyThis study is highly significant as it would shed light on the lived experiences SPED teachers teaching learners with difficulties in remembering and concentrating. Given their professional commitment to teach special education, this study therefore gave an account of their lived experienced challenges or problems encountered which will be addressed through coming up with an implication. Specifically, this study have the following beneficiaries: Future SPED Teachers. This study served as a document that encourages them on how to be innovative and resourceful in coming up with strategies that helps them beat challenges and problems when so hired as SPED teachers. This study further teaches them to float above problems as they become dedicated and devoted to their teaching services with patience and with passion for the DIFREM. This study, finally, with their developed passion and interest for DIFREM can inspire to grab opportunities of possessing teaching expertise by attending relevant trainings and seminars or by enrolling in post graduate studies specializing Special Education. Learners with Difficulty in Remembering and Concentrating (DIFREM). This study benefitted them as they became the receivers of SPED teachers’ efforts in affording them learning in the four-walled classroom despite their disabilities and difficulties. Future Researchers. This study could inspire them to come up with a similar study exploring other possibilities of covering other learners with different difficulties or deficiencies from other research environment.Definition of TermsSome terminologies that were constantly used and were recurring in this study were defined operationally to give easy understanding to the readers by giving the meanings of the terminologies based on how they were used in this inquiry. The following terms below have their operative definitions: SPED Teachers. They are the SPED teachers rendered teaching services to address the special learning needs of learners with difficulty in remembering and concentrating.Lived Experiences. They are the experiences encountered by SPED teachers as they offer instructional delivery to learners with special educational needs to address their special needs. Learners with Difficulty in Remembering and Concentrating (DIFREM). They are the school learners enrolled in SPED, which have individual personal difficulties or deficiencies — whose learning needs must be met to keep them behaved and attention-focused in class (DepEd Order No. 29 series of 2018).SPED. This refers to Special Education to cater the special needs of the learners with special educational needs. Structure of the ThesisThe study will consist five chapters: Chapter 1 includes the introduction of the study, perspective of the researcher, the conceptual framework, and statement of the problem, scope and limitation of the study, significance of the study, definition of terms and the structure of the thesis. Chapter 2 discusses the review of related literature, tackles on the published and unpublished books, articles, theses, blogs and online articles. Chapter 3 covers Research Design, Research Environment, Research Participants, Table 1 Research Participants, Research Tool, Data Gathering Method, Ethical Considerations in Research. Chapter 4 deals on the presentation, analysis and interpretation of data.Chapter 5 covers the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations.