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Child-centered pedagogy: Guided play-based learning for preschool children with special needs


For decades the field of early childhood education has experienced an identity crisis. Theoretical ideologies of early childhood pioneers have provided the foundation for understanding young children’s development and the use of DAP for typically and atypically developing children. However, in the context of the systematic structure of general education and special education, impediments exist due to the notion of preschool children with special needs ought to be isolated because of being labeled. The purpose of this qualitative exploratory case study was to explore the strategies that preschool teachers use to meet the individual needs of special needs children and to determine what strategies directors use to support preschool teachers. Data were collected from a purposeful sample of 7 preschool teachers on their perceptions and role within an inclusive classroom. Findings revealed that although some special needs preschool children who were evaluated did not qualify for special education, some preschool teachers believe that special needs preschool children do not belong in a general education classroom. Findings of concern include teachers’ descriptions of practices such as restraining young children and focusing only on typically developing children. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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