Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 343–352 | Cite as

Practical Strategies to Promote Reflective Practice When Working with Young Children with and At-Risk for Disabilities

  • Suzanne Kucharczyk
  • Melissa A. SreckovicEmail author
  • Tia R. Schultz


The complex and collaborative work of early childhood practitioners (e.g., educators, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, social workers) and families requires effective implementation of evidence-based practices. Effective implementation of early childhood practices can be hindered by deeply held assumptions practitioners relate to their own capacity, the capacity and culture of families, and the needs and capacity of the child at the core of their collective work. Transformative learning theory offers a helpful lens to support practitioners in recognizing and shifting assumptions or perspectives hindering their work through reflective discourse strategies. This article explores potential practitioner assumptions and provides guidance on how reflective discourse may facilitate a transformation in practitioners’ assumptions to more successfully implement evidence-based practices, such as those outlined by the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Early Childhood.


Collaboration Transformative learning Evidence-based practices Early intervention 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Special EducationUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA
  2. 2.Special Education, Department of EducationUniversity of Michigan-FlintFlintUSA
  3. 3.Special EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-WhitewaterWhitewaterUSA

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