Head Start Teacher Training: Impact on Inclusive Practices and Attitudes
Type of DegreeDissertation
Rehabilitation and Special Education
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The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship of the three education levels in early childhood or related fields on Head Start teacher’s attitudes about inclusion and inclusive practices. Ninety-one Head Start lead teachers completed the Head Start Teacher Inclusion Practices and Attitudes Questionnaire, which gathered information pertaining to inclusion in the areas of attitudes, supports, implementation, and impact. Comparisons were made for the inclusion practices and attitudes of lead teachers who had attained a Childcare Development credential, an associate’s degree, and bachelor’s or higher level degree. The research questions for this study examined the impact on teachers’ practices and attitudes based on level of education, number of students with disabilities encountered, years of teaching experience, and years of teaching experience with students with disabilities. The findings indicated that no relationship existed for levels of education, number of students with disabilities taught, or years of teaching experience and teachers’ perceptions. However, a relationship was identified for the number of years teaching students with disabilities and teachers’ inclusion practices. Possible implications of this study are that Head Start teachers may receive job-embedded professional development that prepares them for working with students with all levels of abilities.