Toward inclusion of high support need students in mainstream primary schools: a comparative study of teachers' attitudes, provision and roles of EPs in Brunei and the UK
Maidin, Hajah Mustazah
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This paper reports the two parts of a comparative study of teachers’ attitudes towards, and the provision and role of, Educational Psychologists (EPs) in the inclusion of high support needs (HSN) students in mainstream primary schools in Brunei and the UK. In Study 1, the extent to which teacher attitudes towards inclusion were affected by two variables—teacher-related variables and educational environment-related variables—were examined. Teachers of Reception and Key Stage 1 classes in Brunei, and in a county in the south-west of England were asked to respond to a questionnaire concerning their willingness to include HSN students in their class. The questionnaire was designed as a means of obtaining information concerning the teachers’ background variables, teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion and the availability of support structures and services received by the teachers. The data were analysed using a series of statistical methods which included analysis of variance (ANOVA), t-test and Pearson correlation. The major finding was that both the Brunei and UK teachers held positive attitudes towards inclusion of HSN students, with the teachers in the UK being more positive than teachers in Brunei. Factors associated with more positive attitudes are discussed with reference to background variables, support structures and service deliveries, as well as cultural and policy differences between these two countries. Following this study, Study 2 was carried out in which the provision of support services, including the role of EPs in the inclusion of HSN students in mainstream schools in Brunei and the UK, was further explored. In this descriptive study, the support structures in Brunei were compared to those in the UK, with specific regard to the roles of EPs towards the inclusion of HSN students. This study examined the perspectives of teachers and EPs in Brunei and the UK regarding the provision, support structures and service delivery currently operating in the class and/or school. A specially designed questionnaire was administered to the teachers, and a sample of teachers and EPs were interviewed. While quantitative data was analysed using the SPSS package, qualitative data including interview transcripts were analysed using identification, coding and comparing common themes. Results showed that teachers in Brunei and the UK indicate the issues of resources and teaching materials, support from SENCOs, TAs and EPs and more aide time, as support structures currently operating in the class or school for successful inclusion to take place. While Brunei teachers rate the involvement of EPs towards the inclusion of HSN students as very important, teachers in the UK rate EPs’ involvement as important. With regard to the role of EPs, teachers in Brunei gave important ratings to all the ten Educational Psychology services listed. Teachers in the UK gave important ratings to eight of the services while their role in conducting research and constructing IEPs were considered as neither important nor unimportant. On the other hand, EPs in Brunei and the UK perceived their roles in consultation as important. Teachers in both countries wanted EPs to be available on a daily basis at their schools. Implications for future Educational Psychology practice and research are discussed.
Doctorate of Educational Psychology in Educational, Child and Community Psychology