Successful Preschool Inclusion quiz
What supports do you need to put in place for a sustainable, high-quality preschool inclusion program?
Find out in this quiz, adapted from Making Preschool Inclusion Work: Strategies for Supporting Children, Teachers, and Programs by Anne Marie Richardson-Gibbs, M.A., and M. Diane Klein, Ph.D, CCC-SLP.
See how familiar you are with the evidence-based practices that support early childhood inclusion, and get ready to make preschool inclusion a success!
Successful Preschool Inclusion quiz
Is placement of a child with disabilities in a general education program the beginning or the end of inclusion?
A. The beginning. Placement is only the first step. As is often noted, inclusive education is not just about place.
Simply placing a child in a setting with typical, same-age peers, without support and collaboration of key players, not only fails to meet the mandates for and expectations of a least restrictive environment but also can be very stressful for the child, family, and staff.
Early childhood staff may feel overwhelmed and unsupported. Typical peers may feel threatened or confused by certain behaviors or characteristics of the child. Families may feel their child is being rejected or not making strides toward his or her potential.
Does IDEA guarantee inclusive placement for every child?
B. No. IDEA does not guarantee inclusive placement for every child.
An inclusive classroom is not the ideal placement for every child with special needs at every moment of his or her educational life.
IDEA does, however, require good faith consideration of how to create a meaningful, effective plan designed specifically for that child. Planning for instruction must consider what supports and services the child needs and how these supports and services can be accommodated in the general education classroom. The child's instruction must be delivered in a place and manner that is as similar as possible to the classroom and instructional practices experienced by students without disabilities, that is, the least restrictive environment (LRE).
In some cases a child's educational needs cannot be reasonably accommodated in a typical setting (e.g., because of significant health or behavioral needs). Placement in the general education classroom may not be feasible, and therefore it is not the least restrictive environment at that time. For most preschool children with disabilities, however, placement and learning in a general early childhood education (ECE) classroom can be both reasonable and feasible.
What percentage of preschoolers with disabilities receive special education services within regular ECE settings?
B. 42% For all special education preschoolers eligible for Part B services (745,954 children as of 2011, according to a U.S. Department of Education report), approximately 62% spend some time in a regular education setting, but only 42% receive special education services in those settings.
Closer examination of the data reveals greater variations across states. The percentage of preschoolers with special needs in each state who receive services in an inclusive setting ranges from as low as 9% to as high as nearly 90%.
Reasons were not given for the variability in whether preschoolers with special needs receive special education services in those settings or receive them elsewhere (clinics, home, segregated special education classroom). However, it may be due to the unique challenges in creating preschool inclusion programs. It is also likely related to the choices of decision makers to not only make placement options available but also to provide appropriate services and supports in those environments.
What are some unique challenges in creating effective inclusive early childhood programs?
Lack of access to general education early childhood settings.
Lack of parity between ECE and ECSE teachers.
Differences in core knowledge and philosophy between ECE and ECSE.
All of the above.
D. All of the above.
Lack of access to general education early childhood settings. State and local education agencies do not typically offer preschool services for 3- and 4-year-olds who do not have disabilities. As a result, ensuring a least restrictive environment (LRE) presents the unique challenge of finding an appropriate preschool general education setting.
Lack of parity between ECE and ECSE teachers. While ECSE teachers must be trained and certified, in the United States, ECE teachers may have less training and no certification.
Differences in core knowledge and philosophy between ECE and ECSE. While individuals trained in special education have substantial knowledge of disabilities, they may be less experienced with general ECE curricula. Conversely, early childhood educators may have little knowledge and experience with children with disabilities and may be unaccustomed to the intense focus on the needs of individual children.
Which of the following was NOT found to be a key factor in successful inclusion of young children with severe disabilities?
Positive attitudes and willingness to build on a child's strengths.
Recognition of the importance of communication among all key players.
Therapists' use of a pull-out model.
Parents' opportunities for shared participation and active partnerships with classroom staff and service providers.
Specification of individual and team roles in planning, training key staff, and implementing specific classroom adaptations.
C. Therapists' use of a pull-out model was not found to be a key factor.
In in-depth interviews with teachers, parents, ECSE personnel, and therapists as part of a qualitative study, it was Therapists' willingness and ability to provide services within daily routines rather than using a pull-out model that was key to successful inclusion of young children with severe disabilities.
Behind every thriving inclusive preschool program is an administrator who does which of the following?
Understands how to use IDEA to the fullest to ensure individualization, flexibility, and creativity on behalf of young children with special needs and their families.
Supports joint planning and collaboration among all key players.
Insists on a collegial, problem-solving approach.
Communicates effectively and frequently with administrators of partner programs.
Provides decision-making support for key personnel thinking outside the box.
All of the above.
F. All of the above.
It is clear that administrators play a critical role in determining the success or failure of inclusive programs. The most commonly litigated area of education is related to violation of FAPE (free and appropriate education) and LRE mandates within special education.
It is important to note that many of the factors critical to the success of inclusive education are also critical to success for all children and are not uniquely important for students with disabilities.
What has NOT been shown to be effective in facilitating success when introducing new inclusive models?
Giving teachers and staff the freedom to work things out on their own.
Offering training in collaboration and problem-solving processes.
Having educators and staff from other districts and schools share their positive experiences.
Ensuring in-service training include active participation and follow-up support.
Begin the program by asking for volunteers to be involved in the model.
A. Giving teachers and staff the freedom to work things out on their own.
One of the most important areas of need for professional development is collaborative teaming and problem solving. Team members themselves often fail to appreciate their importance until a major conflict arises. There is often a general belief that if one has good intentions and really wants what is best for the children, collaboration will not be difficult.
Providing training opportunities to teach the basics of active-listening, perspective-taking, and problem strategies can provide valuable tools as the program begins.
Which types of in-service activities are LEAST likely to result in change of practices?
Live observation of practices being implemented
Lectures and handouts
Demonstrations or modeling by trainer
Microteaching (videotaping of trainee implementing a practice)
C. Lectures and handouts. The most common features of in-service training (e.g., lectures and handouts) are reported to be the least effective. Most recent studies support that, for adult learners, passive listening to in-service presentations are minimally effective.
Rather, the other options listed above are more likely to result in a change of practices.
When new collaborative approaches are introduced, which of the following is NOT a typical source of resistance to change?
Fear of loss of status.
Fear of loss of control.
Preference for the current status.
Disinterest in the child's progress.
Perceived threat to the existing social order.
D. Disinterest in the child's progress.
Even staff who resist change may be well-intentioned. Most often, conflict results from poor communication and misunderstandings or from genuine emotions and personal challenges associated with working as a member of a team.
For example, organizational or policy changes might cause one to fear losing status or even fear losing one's job. An expectation that each team member must share and discuss justification for his or her recommendations may lead to embarrassment or loss of self-esteem.
These common realities of group process and decision making can lead to resistance to change. Being able to understand others' perspectives and the reasons for team member resistance is critical to avoiding conflict.
Which of the following steps will encourage greater interaction between preschoolers and their classmates with disabilities?
Provide therapies (such as speech or occupational therapy) in classroom settings so classmates can observe and participate.
Allow students to experiment with and use adapt equipment and encourage them to try augmentative communication tools brought in for their classmates.
Check the environment for barriers to children being able to sit together for group activities and try to arrange for similar seating.
Find opportunities to focus on a particular child's special skills or talents so that classmates do not view him or her as the child who always needs help.
All of the above.
E. All of the above.
Peer interactions in the inclusive preschool classroom can range from being "best buddies" to adopting caregiver-type roles, or from having occasional misunderstandings due to communication difficulties to outright hostility. Many of the interactions are based on adult modeling and guidance, while others seem to stem from the distinctive make-up of individual personalities.
Providing positive experiences for classmates of students with disabilities during the preschool years can help children form positive attitudes toward those with special needs. Adults need to actively engage children in positive interactions with their classmates, as shifts in attitude do not happen simply with proximity.
Adults need to model appropriate responses to a child with disability. For instance, they need to help children practice waiting for a child to respond to them, as response times in a child with special needs may be slow.