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INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IN MALAYSIA : MAINSTREAM PRIMARY TEACHERS’ ATTITUDES TO CHANCE OF POLICY AND PRACTICES ABDUL AZIZ BIN JANTAN PhD 2007 INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IN MALAYSIA : MAINSTREAM PRIMARY TEACHERS’ ATTITUDES TO CHANCE OF POLICY AND PRACTICES ABDUL AZIZ BIN JANTAN A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement of the University of Northumbria at Newcastle for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Research undertaken in the School of Health, Community & Education Studies University of Northumbria at Newcastle August 2007 ABSTRACT ‘The Malaysian Ministry of Education is planning to implement inclusive education in mainstream primary schools by the year 2010. This ambitious project may lead to significant change but may also encounter a variety of barriers including provision of resources, established forms of teacher ‘raining and established teacher attitudes. Malaysian primary school teachers may find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to implement an innovation for which they are ‘unprepared, both in terms of emotional acceptance and technical skills. This study has been undertaken in response to a directive received from the Ministry of Education with the express aim of providing the Ministry with relevant material concerning an examination of the attitudes (understanding/beliefs, feelings/values and behaviours) of primary school teachers in relation to the present and planned educational provision in Malaysia regarding inclusive education. It also takes account of these teachers’ perspectives of their own needs and of resource requirements to support this move toward elusive practice. The study population consisted of a sample of primary school teachers in Melaka, one of the states of federal Malaysia, which I view as representative of the nation’s teachers. In the study attitudes were investigated in terms of a three-components model of attitude formation to identify cognitive, affective, and conative aspects. For this purpose two data collecting approaches were used i.e, quantitative (by questionnaire method) and qualitative (by interview), in order to define the nature of teacher attitudes towards inclusive education. To this end two Malay-language instruments were developed for the study, namely a standard questionnaire technique and a semi- structured interview schedule used in individual, face-to-face interviewi ‘The findings of the study indicate that Malaysian primary teachers at present have a concept of inclusive education as merely placing all children identified by the Ministry of Education with leaning difficulties into mainstream classes, either part-time or full-time. The teachers were of the view that the structure of primary schools will need to change in order to support the Ministry's plan, or else the plan itself should be modified. Methods are discussed as to how Malaysia’s present primary educational provision might begin to move towards an effective policy and practice of inclusive education.