Date of Award

12-2011

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Child and Family Studies

First Advisor

Julie C. Parker

Advisor Department

Child and Family Studies

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to determine why early care and education facilities are not identified as inclusive. This study compared the differences in attitude toward inclusive programming among directors, preschool teachers, and infant/toddler teachers in early care and education facilities. This study addressed two questions in regard to the attitudes and perceptions of early childhood professionals. First, what are the attitudes of early childhood professionals toward advantages and disadvantages of inclusive classrooms and how their attitudes may differ depending on staff position? Second, what are the major obstacles identified by early childhood professionals to inclusive programming and how they correlate with the child’s degree of disability? It was predicted that infant and toddler teachers would demonstrate more positive attitudes toward the advantages of inclusive classrooms than directors or preschool teachers. It was also predicted that the major obstacles to inclusive programming identified by early childhood professionals would correlate with the child’s degree of disability. The limitations foreseen were that the study collected data only during a specified time from a sample group in a specific geographical area that was selected for convenience.

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