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A Cross-Cultural Study: Parental Attitudes and Experiences of the Inclusion of Special Educational Needs in Preschools

Chan, Calista (2016) A Cross-Cultural Study: Parental Attitudes and Experiences of the Inclusion of Special Educational Needs in Preschools. DEdCPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Inclusive education has been increasingly incorporated into educational systems throughout the world. While the practice of inclusion has had opportunities to be sharpened over several years in England, the notion and implementation of inclusion in Singapore is still relatively new, particularly in the early years. This cross-cultural research draws upon the two contexts to elucidate parental attitudes and experiences of the inclusion of their child with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in preschools. The study adopts a mixed methods approach to examine the findings, in order to identify key supporting factors and practices that may be of value to either region. In the first part of the study, fourteen parents from each context completed the Parent Attitudes to Inclusion (PATI) questionnaire. This constituted the quantitative data, which was analysed using descriptive statistics. Participants from the UK responded with relatively more positive scores on the attitude scale as compared to the participants from Singapore consistently across all dimensions of the scale. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with three parents in each context, purposefully selected based on their responses on the PATI questionnaire. The interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The quantitative and qualitative findings are corroborated and elaborated on in the discussion section. Common themes that emerged from the experiences of parents include ‘parental support and concerns’, ‘within-school support’, ‘input from external agencies’, ‘government policies and systems’, and ‘community awareness and acceptance’. The lived experiences of parents reflected the complexities of the construction of inclusion. Across the two countries, parental accounts carried subtle differences where themes overlapped partially or fully (e.g. ‘preference for mainstream’, ‘opportunity for mainstream’; and ‘advocating for child’). Several themes were present exclusively in one setting, primarily due to inherent differences in the educational systems and governing policies. The potential implications and future directions for research are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdCPsy)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.696036
Depositing User: Ms Calista Chan
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2016 13:27
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:29
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15284

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