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ERIC Number: ED519488
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 145
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-3031-6
ISSN: N/A
Including Preschool Age Students with Disabilities: Perceptions and Beliefs of Community-Based Early Childhood Providers
Bond, Christine
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Florida
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the beliefs and skills of community early childhood lead teachers and community child care center administrators participating in Florida's Four Year Old Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK) Program in five rural, north Florida counties hold regarding the inclusion of young children with disabilities within their centers. The training needs that these practitioners identified as critical to successful inclusion were also determined. A specially designed and adapted mailed survey was used to answer the following questions: (a) What beliefs do community childcare administrators that supervise Florida's Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK) program and VPK lead teachers hold regarding the inclusion of students with disabilities with their community childcare settings? (b) What is the perception of community child care VPK administrators and VPK lead teachers regarding their skills to include children with disabilities within their community childcare programs? (c) What are the training needs identified by VPK administrators and VPK lead teachers as needed to include children with disabilities in their community settings? The target populations for this study were the 39 administrators who supervise community based centers that provide VPK services to Florida's four years olds, as well as the 79 lead teachers in the community based VPK classroom within the five counties. Data collected from this survey were compiled and calculated according to frequencies and percentages of perceptions and needs across the participant's responses. The computerized program, SPSS 14.0, was utilized to sort, code and calculate data results. Results indicated that community based center administrators and lead teachers who participate in Florida's VPK program, hold positive beliefs about including children with disabilities in their centers. These early childhood providers also have a high level of confidence in their inclusive practices and skills, such as collaboration with families and service providers, environmental arrangement and using strategies for effective behavior management, to include young children with disabilities in their programs. However, these community based providers were less confident in their skills regarding services to young children with motor disabilities or augmentative communication needs. Finally, VPK administrators and lead teachers identified a need for skill development training in many areas related to including children with disabilities, including the development and implementation of Individualized Educational Plans, and effectively observing young children to assess their development skills and needs. Additionally, specialized areas of supporting young children with disabilities, such as positioning and familiarization with alternative methods of communication, were identified as the greatest need by the majority of the participants. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida