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General and Special Early Childhood Educators’ Attitudes Towards Co-teaching as a Means for Inclusive Practice

Abstract

Co-teaching has been proposed as a meaningful method in addressing the challenges that can accompany classroom diversity. In the present study teachers’ attitudes were investigated regarding co-teaching and the inclusion of students with disabilities in general classes. A total of 104 early childhood educators responded to a questionnaire (51.9% general educators and 48.1% special educators). The questionnaire examined the conditions that need to be met for the successful implementation of co-teaching as well as the benefits for the co-teachers. Our findings revealed that while special educators are more willing to co-teach, they are at a disadvantage because general educators typically make the decisions related to the planning and evaluation of the activities in the general classroom. However, most general early childhood educators stated that they benefit professionally from co-teaching. According to our findings, co-teaching is perceived to be successful when the two co-teachers collaborate, during their formal meetings even though their shared collaboration time usually is quite limited. Moreover, female educators seemed more open to inclusive practices and most of them agreed that the appropriate arrangement of the classroom successfully affects the implementation of co-teaching. Finally, it was pointed out that the co-teachers’ knowledge of special educational needs and their skill to modify the curriculum seem to affect co-teaching.

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Correspondence to Sofia Chatzigeorgiadou.

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Chatzigeorgiadou, S., Barouta, A. General and Special Early Childhood Educators’ Attitudes Towards Co-teaching as a Means for Inclusive Practice. Early Childhood Educ J (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-021-01269-z

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Keywords

  • Co-teaching
  • Early childhood education
  • Inclusion
  • Special education needs
  • Special class