This study examined the attitudes and perceptions of Learning Assistance Teachers (LATs) and Regular Teachers (RTs) towards inclusive education; their perceived self-efficacy, the perceived desirability, feasibility and frequency of use of instructional adaptations for inclusive classrooms; and the perceived actual and ideal collaborative roles of LATs and RTs as well as the perceived barriers to collaboration as dependent variables. The independent variables were: (a) Gender, (b) Age, (c) Qualification, (d) Level of teaching, (e) Pre-service teacher education preparation for inclusion, (f) District, (g) Position, (h) Teacher types, (i) Teaching experience, (j) Attendance of Special Education course during pre-service teacher education, (k) Years of experience In teaching students with special needs, (I) Number of students with special needs taught, (m) preferred venue of teaching students with special needs, (n) preferred placement of students with special needs, (o) perceived knowledge and (p) perceived skills in teaching students with special needs.
A descriptive-correlational survey research design was employed in this study. Both qualitative and quantitative procedures were used to collect data from LATs and RTs. Five main instruments were used, namely: (a) Attitudes towards Inclusive Education Scale (ATIES), (b) Teacher Efficacy Scale (TES), Classroom Adaptations for Inclusive Teaching Scale (CAITS), (d) Interactive Roles of Learning Assistance and Regular Teacher Scale (IRLARTS), and (e) Focus Group Interview on Inclusive Education (FGIIE) to collect both qualitative and quantitative data from LATs and RTs.
Statistical analyses of data were carried out using SPSS, Version 11, to measure the factor structure, the internal consistency (Cronbach alpha) and the test-retest reliability of the ATIES, TES, CAITS, and IRLARTS. Various ANOVA, MANOVA and correlation techniques were carried out to examine relationships among variables of interest in the study and determine whether certain variables exert positive or negative influence upon teachers' attitudes and perceptions towards inclusive education. Chi square analyses were carried out on nominal data derived from the open-ended questions.
In terms of quantitative findings, the results showed significant differences in the attitudes and perceptions towards inclusion, perceived self-efficacy, perceived desirability, feasibility and frequency of use of instructional adaptations for inclusive classrooms, and perceived actual and ideal collaborative roles of LATs and RTs between the LATs and RTs. In general, an invariant order was found, with Upgrading LATs, (UL) having the highest means and Regular Teachers with no experience teaching students with special needs (RN) the lowest.
There were various qualitative differences between the LATs and RTs in their open-ended responses related to perceptions of inclusive education; examples of classroom adaptations for instruction, supports needed and barriers encountered when using these adaptations; as well as examples of collaborative roles for inclusive classrooms, supports needed and barriers encountered during collaborative efforts.
Finally, various implications and recommendations for policy and practice and suggested future directions for research are discussed. While the findings imply that the current programmes and activities for inclusive education are apparently in the right direction, they have also been suggestive of some specific changes that might help towards improving policy and practice, not only in schools but also for teacher education, in Brunei Darussalam. For example, in developing innovative strategies for teaching and managing students with special needs, special attention needs to be paid to the collaborative relationships between LATs and RTs. Research into specific collaborative arrangements, including in-depth case studies, appear to be one of several plausible options for further research.