A growing body of research and legislative policies support the importance of high-quality early intervention systems for preschool children with disabilities. Inclusion programs are viable means for providing this support, yet limited progress has been made in the past decade to increase the placements of children in inclusive settings or define quality programs. This study was a 1-year exploration into the quality indicators of a full-inclusion district preschool program identified as successful based on academic and social growth for students with and those without disabilities. An interdisciplinary team of seven researchers examined the progress of 46 students and then analyzed program quality indicators identified by the adults associated with the program as contributing to student success. Mixed methods were utilized combining quantitative measurements of student growth with qualitative analysis of perceptions regarding the children's development in the program by parents, teachers, and other school personnel. Findings indicate significant academic and social gains for both groups of children connected to specific program quality indicators. These results will inform teachers, districts, and outside agencies as they structure and implement full-inclusion programs at the preschool level. (author abstract)
Exploring the quality indicators of a successful full-inclusion preschool program
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