Classroom Readiness for Successful Inclusion: Teacher Factors and Preschool Children’s Experience With and Attitudes Toward Peers With Disabilities

Kyong Ah Kwon, Soo Young Hong, Hyun Joo Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The current study examined (1) associations among teachers’ experiences regarding children with disabilities (i.e., education, specialized training, years of work experience), their attitudes toward disabilities, and their classroom practices in relation to inclusion and (2) associations among children’s attitudes toward peers with disabilities and child and teacher factors. Ninety-one 4- and 5-year-old children participated in an interview, and their teachers completed a survey. Teachers’ specialized training and bachelor’s degree in early childhood education (ECE) were positively associated with their inclusive practices in the classroom; teachers’ bachelor’s degree in ECE and experiences working with children with disabilities were positively associated with their attitudes toward disabilities and inclusion; and children’s perceived contact with people who have disabilities was positively associated their attitudes toward peers with disabilities. However, none of the teacher factors predicted children’s attitudes toward peers with disabilities. Early childhood teachers need more training opportunities to learn about disabilities to develop positive attitudes toward disabilities and inclusion. Providing frequent contact with people with disabilities may enhance children’s acceptance of peers with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-378
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Research in Childhood Education
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017

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disability
inclusion
classroom
Disabled Children
teacher
experience
Education
childhood
bachelor
Disabled Persons
teachers' association
contact
Interviews
training opportunities
education
acceptance
interview

Keywords

  • Children with disabilities
  • early childhood education
  • preschoolers
  • teacher attitudes
  • teacher education and training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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abstract = "The current study examined (1) associations among teachers’ experiences regarding children with disabilities (i.e., education, specialized training, years of work experience), their attitudes toward disabilities, and their classroom practices in relation to inclusion and (2) associations among children’s attitudes toward peers with disabilities and child and teacher factors. Ninety-one 4- and 5-year-old children participated in an interview, and their teachers completed a survey. Teachers’ specialized training and bachelor’s degree in early childhood education (ECE) were positively associated with their inclusive practices in the classroom; teachers’ bachelor’s degree in ECE and experiences working with children with disabilities were positively associated with their attitudes toward disabilities and inclusion; and children’s perceived contact with people who have disabilities was positively associated their attitudes toward peers with disabilities. However, none of the teacher factors predicted children’s attitudes toward peers with disabilities. Early childhood teachers need more training opportunities to learn about disabilities to develop positive attitudes toward disabilities and inclusion. Providing frequent contact with people with disabilities may enhance children’s acceptance of peers with disabilities.",
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