Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Powers, Deborah

Committee Member

Boggs, Cyndi

Committee Member

Flores, Christopher

Committee Member

Yarbrough, Rachel

Author's Keywords

early childhood education; special-education; preschool; inclusion; phenomenology; qualitative


Young children with special needs have been educated in early childhood settings with typically developing peers for over 40 years. Successful educational inclusion in the least restrictive environment requires appropriate aids and supports (Individuals with Disabilities Act, 2004). Although researchers have studied many aspects of special education, little investigation has been conducted on the perspectives of dual certified interdisciplinary early childhood educator’s (IECE) perceptions on full inclusion in preschool. This study was designed to examine the connection between the perceptions of IECE teacher’s experiences as a dual certified educator in preschool. In total, 10 IECE teachers were interviewed and completed a survey on their experiences and beliefs about inclusion to meet the needs of their regular education and special education students. Using descriptive and in vivo coding (Saldaña, 2013), the study found that IECE teachers believe in inclusion in public preschool and find it as an effective model of instruction for their students. The study also produced recommendations for schools and districts to improve supports for IECE teachers. In addition, recommendations for educational policy reform were suggested.