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Perceptions and Practices of Inclusion in Malaysian Integrated Preschools

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dc.contributor.advisor Loveridge, Judith
dc.contributor.advisor Green, Vanessa
dc.contributor.author Sukumaran, Sailajah Nair
dc.date.accessioned 2013-06-05T02:47:53Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-11-02T20:24:16Z
dc.date.available 2013-06-05T02:47:53Z
dc.date.available 2022-11-02T20:24:16Z
dc.date.copyright 2013
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/28989
dc.description.abstract This study examines perceptions and practices of inclusion of children with special educational needs (SEN) in Malaysian integrated preschool programmes. Integrated programmes in Malaysia refer to educational settings in which units of special education classrooms are set up within existing regular school compounds. I aim to determine the state of inclusion in Malaysian integrated preschool programmes; educators’ and parents’ perceptions of and support for inclusion; and factors influencing the implementation of inclusive practices in these settings. Situated within a pragmatic research paradigm, my study adopted a two-phased sequential mixed-methods research design. The first phase involved regular and special classroom teachers’ self-reports of inclusion in their school, through a survey by questionnaire. In the second phase, data gathering was carried out in three case-study preschools, which, based on questionnaire findings, were preschools that demonstrated differing levels of inclusion (i.e., high, moderate, and low). Information sources in each site involved interviews with the school principal, regular and special classroom preschool teachers, and parents of preschoolers with and without SEN, as well as observations of daily events and examination of relevant documents in the preschool settings. The perspective proposed by the bioecological systems theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1995, 2005; Bronfenbrenner & Ceci, 1994; Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 1998), which strongly advocate that human development involves a combination of interactions between proximal processes, personal characteristics, context, and time, served as a useful conceptual framework for examining and elaborating on inclusion in this study. Questionnaire and case study findings presented substantial evidence that integrated preschool programmes in Malaysia were neither practising nor promoting inclusion. Whilst there were some efforts towards partial inclusion of children with SEN, educators’ and parents’ views, as well as findings across my case study sites showed that preschools generally engage these children in socially integrated activities, otherwise segregating them totally to activities confined to their own classrooms. Furthermore, educators lamented that there was lack of information and guidance training from the Ministry of Education in relation to inclusion and SEN. Parents on the other hand were barely involved in decisions about the nature of their children’s preschool’s inclusion. These issues were exacerbated by the absence of a clearly delineated policy governing inclusion. Nevertheless, the study found that the ways in which inclusion (or non-inclusion) practices were implemented in each case study site was reflective of the individual school’s philosophy towards inclusive education. The principals’ role, the regular and special classroom teachers’ shared perspectives on inclusion, parental involvement, and the preschool’s physical and instructional environment gave each preschool an individual “inclusive-identity”. Accordingly, this information provided empirical evidence to support the usefulness of the bioecological systems perspective, especially in understanding how interacting factors within and beyond the school setting can influence how inclusion is perceived and practiced. Thus important implications for policy and practice are identified in this thesis, including the need to develop mandates in support of inclusion; in particular the re-examination of initial and in-service teacher education programmes, opportunities for teacher trainees’ practical experience in teaching children with SEN, encouraging collaboration between regular and special classroom teachers, support for principals to develop their leadership concerning inclusion, educating parents and the wider community on inclusion and SEN. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.rights Access is restricted to staff and students only until 06/2015. For information please contact the library. en_NZ
dc.subject Early childhood education en_NZ
dc.subject Special education en_NZ
dc.subject Malaysia en_NZ
dc.title Perceptions and Practices of Inclusion in Malaysian Integrated Preschools en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.marsden 330101 Educational Psychology en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.marsden 330108 Special Education en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.marsden 330110 Early Childhood Education en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Doctoral Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline Education en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_NZ

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