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Voices from the field: Why aren’t we talking about teacher well-being with inclusion?

Let us consider teacher well-being in light of an EI/ECSE priority: inclusion. We know little progress has been made with the inclusion of young children with disabilities, increasing a mere 5.7% over two decades (Barton & Smith, 2015). We also know professionals' attitudes and beliefs, interpretations of Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 2004), a lack of workforce preparation and training, the need for more comprehensive services, and time to build partnerships are all barriers to inclusion (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/U.S. Department of Education, 2015). Some suggest that educator attitudes toward inclusion are influenced by those who view the needs of children with disabilities to be burdensome and question the system's capacity to meet them (Guralnick & Bruder, 2016). I would like to pose a new question: How much of this perceived lack of confidence in the system might be attributed to teachers who are depressed and stressed as a result of not feeling supported to carry out the ongoing and often intensive collaborative work needed for inclusion? (author abstract)
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