Abstract

Given that inclusion benefits all children, it is important to understand why there are discrepancies in its implementation. Understanding teachers' views on inclusion may help identify ways to improve its implementation and prevent disparities. Although teachers' beliefs about inclusion have been widely explored, the beliefs and experiences of early childhood general and special education teachers in urban settings remain relatively understudied. This study explored early childhood educators' perceptions of inclusion in urban schools, using a mixed-method approach. The results from the qualitative focus group interviews (n = 13) reveal that most teachers have positive beliefs about inclusion and that there are specific benefits, challenges, and needs concerning early inclusion in urban settings. The analysis of the survey data (n = 36) shows differences in beliefs about inclusion among teachers of different ages and/or years of experience. Implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed.

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