Quality in Inclusive Preschool Classrooms

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Deborah J. Cassidy, Professor (Creator)
Linda L. Hestenes, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Research Findings: Quality of care for preschool children in inclusive and noninclusive classrooms was examined in two studies. In Study 1, comparisons across a large sample of classrooms (N = 1, 313) showed that inclusive classrooms were higher than noninclusive classrooms in global quality as well as on two dimensions of quality (Activities/Materials and Language/Interactions). In Study 2, a more diverse sample of 44 classrooms (20 inclusive and 24 noninclusive) did not reveal differences on the global measures of quality but did show a difference on a measure of teacher–child interactions. Teachers in inclusive classrooms had higher quality and more appropriate interactions with all children than did teachers from noninclusive classrooms. Ratings of perceived severity of children's disabilities were not related to any of the measures of classroom quality in either study. Practice or Policy: Both studies suggest that including children with disabilities in regular preschool classrooms does not result in lower quality programs or in less adequate teacher–child interactions, particularly for children with mild to moderate disabilities. Results illustrate the importance of continued education for early childhood professionals on high-quality teacher–child interactions. Faculty in personnel preparation programs as well as policymakers need to continue to promote high-quality interactions between teachers and children.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Education, Preschool, Teacher-Child Interactions, Inclusive Classrooms, Non-inclusive Classrooms

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