First Advisor

Leslie Munson

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Special Education


Special Education




Anti-bias curriculum, Teacher perceptions, Special needs, Children with disabilities -- Education (Early childhood), Inclusive education -- Study and teaching (Early childhood), Special education -- Study and teaching (Early childhood), Mainstreaming in education -- Study and teaching (Early childhood)



Physical Description

1 online resource (iv, 72 p.)


Inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood settings remains a goal for many early care and education centers and professionals. In this study, the perceptions of supports needed to accomplish this goal were examined. Early childhood teachers from a university-based child care center, which is inspired by the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, were interviewed and asked to explore their feelings and thoughts on fully including children with disabilities in their classrooms. An examination of their perceptions led to the identification of four major themes: a) everyone is valuable in the classroom community, b) additional training is needed, c) support from administrators, peers, specialists, and therapists, d) experience fosters success. From these themes the researcher found that teachers felt support from administrators(staffing, policies and procedures, time for meetings), peers, and on-site consultants, additional training, and an over arching philosophy of accepting differences were crucial to successful inclusion. The participants also indicated that all new teachers, whether in pre-service or through in-service should have access to these supports and be provided with information about the benefits and positive experiences of others who have included a child with a disability into their classroom. This study will add to the continuing discussion of early childhood inclusion and provide additional information for programmatic decision making within a particular setting.


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Portland State University. Dept. of Special Education

Persistent Identifier