Exploring the relationship between teacher education experience and the child-focused practices implemented in quality early childhood inclusive environments

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ellen J. Wenner (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Judith Niemeyer

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between teacher education experience and child-focused practices implemented in quality early childhood inclusive environments, the following research questions focused the study: what child-focused effective practices were implemented in quality early childhood inclusive environments and, how did early childhood teachers learn about these practices? To answer these questions, a qualitative descriptive multiple case study approach was used to examine effective child-focused practices used in two Head Start classrooms, two public Pre-K classrooms and two childcare centers with children with special educational needs. The teachers were videotape recorded implementing practices in the context of the classroom, then interviewed regarding the practices used. The teachers were also asked questions about education and experienced that informed their implementation of the practices. Using a modified phenomenological three step analytic process, themes emerged. The themes were analyzed and reduced a cross settings to determine specific practices implemented and the connection to their educational experiences. Results revealed teachers implemented primarily explicit child focused practices. These practices included guidance and redirection with clear limits, using rote, recall and response during routines and activities and embedding IEP goals into the routines and practices. These practices seemed directly connected to the number of children with disabilities in the classroom and the severity of the disability. This study suggested that specific college coursework influenced implementation of practice. Coursework with field experience and internship provided opportunities to rehearse practices. Also relationships developed within the home and at work influenced practice. Additional results suggest implicit practices were used primarily with typical children in inclusive settings. Further research should explore the type and extent of the disability and the ratio between typical and atypical children in an inclusive setting. Also, the role of relationships within work and family should be examined. Limitations include number of participants and researcher bias as an experienced early childhood professional.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Child-focused practices, Early childhood, Embedded instruction, Inclusion, Quality childcare, Teacher education
Early childhood education $x Research $z North Carolina $v Case studies
Early childhood educators $x Research $z North Carolina $v Case studies

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