School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Samuel J Smith

Primary Subject Area

Education, Early Childhood; Education, Special


Inclusion, Preschoolers, Special Education


Special Education and Teaching


In the quest to restructure educational programming toward higher student outcomes for preschoolers with special needs, professional educators are continuously challenged to provide with integrity a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restricted environment (LRE) as mandated by law. This study analyzed the effectiveness of an inclusive programming model for preschoolers with special needs by examining achievement gains in the developmental domains of adaptive, motor, and cognitive skills as assessed by the Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition. Analysis of an inclusive learning environment for six preschoolers with special needs as guided by IEP committee recommendations occurred. In order to analyze progress, the developmental quotient was assessed by juxtaposing pretest and posttest functioning. A paired samples t test indicated no significant gains in the performance of preschoolers with special needs receiving services in an inclusive learning environment with respect to adaptive, motor, and cognitive skills. The results of this study indicate that an inclusive learning environment did not facilitate an increase in the progress of preschoolers with special needs. Suggestions for further research are also included.