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Early childhood general and special educators: An examination of similarities and differences in beliefs, knowledge, and practice

In this study, we provide a contemporary examination of the similarities and differences between early childhood general educators (ECEs) and early childhood special educators (ECSEs) within a theoretically driven model that accounted for the associations of beliefs and knowledge with practice. We used structural equation modeling to examine the associations among these multifaceted constructs, controlling for background characteristics, for 147 ECEs and 78 ECSEs. Univariate analyses revealed differences between ECEs and ECSEs on measures of beliefs, knowledge, practice, and background characteristics; yet, when examining these variables in a complex model, this pattern of difference did not hold. ECSE status was predictive of differences in knowledge and one component of practice; however, in most cases, the differences between ECEs and ECSEs were not statistically significant. Implications of the findings and the importance of examining the associations of beliefs, knowledge, and practice within a complex system are discussed. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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