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Promoting Inclusion Through Embedded Instruction: Enhancing Preschool Teachers’ Implementation of Learning Opportunities for Children with Disabilities

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Embedded instruction facilitates individualized support and promotes meaningful participation for all children, irrespective of their abilities or disabilities, by integrating learning opportunities into the natural, everyday activities of inclusive preschool settings. This study aimed to investigate the impact of a coaching intervention on the fidelity of preschool teachers’ implementation of embedded learning opportunities (ELOs) and child learning outcomes, using a multiple baseline across participants design. Four preschool teachers and four children with disabilities participated in the study. Findings showed that teachers’ correct implementation of ELOs increased slightly after the introduction of the workshop training, but criterion level of performance was only achieved after practice-based coaching support. All four teachers sustained high levels of correct implementation during maintenance sessions conducted intermittently after the coaching intervention. As the accuracy of preschool teachers’ implementation of ELOs increased, the percentage of children’s correct responses regarding target behaviors also increased. The social validity data indicated that preschool teachers found embedded instruction practices and the coaching intervention effective, beneficial, and suitable. Overall, the study provides evidence supporting coaching as an effective professional development strategy for improving the implementation of ELOs and enhancing child learning outcomes in inclusive preschool classrooms. The study underscores the importance of ongoing coaching support to ensure sustained use of ELOs among preschool teachers, thereby facilitating the development and learning of preschool children with developmental disabilities in inclusive settings.

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Correspondence to Salih Rakap.

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All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by the Ondokuz Mayis University Social Science Ethics Committee.

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Researchers thoroughly explained the research purposes to teachers and the parents of children with disabilities, and obtained their consent prior to participation in this study.

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Rakap, S., Balikci, S., Aydin, B. et al. Promoting Inclusion Through Embedded Instruction: Enhancing Preschool Teachers’ Implementation of Learning Opportunities for Children with Disabilities. J Dev Phys Disabil (2023).

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