Date Approved

5-3-2001

Embargo Period

6-8-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Learning Disabilities

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Urban, Stanley

Subject(s)

Inclusive education; Learning disabled children--Education (Elementary); Primary school teachers--Attitudes

Disciplines

Disability and Equity in Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify current best practices when modifying an early childhood curriculum to facilitate inclusion of children with disabilities. A questionnaire consisting of twenty items pertaining to the benefits and barriers to an inclusive preschool program was distributed to thirty-four educators who service preschoolers with disabilities directly or indirectly. Those surveyed strongly agreed that including young children with disabilities in typical preschool program is a viable model of service delivery. They stated that benefits outnumber the barriers in an inclusive program, that such programs can benefit children with and without disabilities, and staff training is an important component of inclusion.They also felt that specialized instruction is very important and can be embedded throughout an early childhood curriculum. Their findings correlate with the belief that there is no difference between early childhood curriculum and early childhood special education curriculum. Even though one hundred percent stated that inclusive programs can benefit all children, thirty-three percent still believe preschoolers with disabilities are best addressed in self-contained classes. Seventy percent of the professionals surveyed believed in the importance of collaboration and that the philosophy of the curriculum were important components for a successful inclusive program.

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