What We Know about Integrating Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education Teacher Preparation Programs: A Review, a Reminder and a Request

April 2007

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 28, Issue 2 April 2007, pages 163 - 180

In the last two decades, a myriad of political and social factors have converged and had a dramatic impact on Early Childhood Education (EC) and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE). There have been sweeping changes in policy and shifts in society that have resulted in greater numbers of programs serving young children of all abilities and their families. Great strides in research related to early childhood development and early intervention have provided a growing knowledge of how children learn.

The combination of these factors has created a call for increasingly higher quality services for young children. Professionals in both EC and ECSE have been responding to the demands and taken steps to prepare more and better-qualified teachers for children enrolled in early childhood programs. The most immediate avenue for effecting change in the profession is through the programs that prepare our teachers for the classrooms and the child care centers. This article reviews the research and the rationale regarding the implementation of integrated EC/ECSE programs.

Updated: Jan. 24, 2008