School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Barbara White


Individual Education Plan, Preschooler, Support, Parent Involvement, Collaboration


Curriculum and Instruction | Education


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to examine parents’ experiences of the support they receive from their children’s teachers when those children have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and attend public-school preschools. For this study, described support is defined as emotional, instrumental, or informational assistance, along with appraisal received from others during times of need. The theoretical framework for this study is Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler’s model of parental involvement and Epstein’s parent involvement model, which identifies six types of family involvement. These theories fall under Bronfenbrenner’s overarching ecological systems theory. The study includes 10 participants chosen through purposeful sampling. Participants are parents living in the Southeast United States whose children have an IEP and attend a public-school preschool. The study answers the central research question: How do parents whose children have an IEP and attend public-school preschool describe the support provided by their children’s teachers? The study utilizes interviews, focus groups, and a review of documents to collect data. Interviews were transcribed and examined for emerging themes. Data analysis was conducted using Moustakas' transcendental phenomenology and analysis procedures. Results of the study provide information on the lack of support, communication, trust, and advocacy that parents of public-school preschoolers whose children have an IEP receive from their child’s teachers during the IEP process.