UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Learning environments for special needs preschool children Tobias, Eliana R.


This study looked at four types of learning environments for developmentally delayed 3-5 year old preschool children, namely segregated programs, reversed mainstreamed programs, day care centres, and nursery schools in order to describe and analyze the experiences children have in these settings. Twenty preschool classroom environments were analyzed, forty children were observed to obtain child-child interaction data, twenty teachers were observed and interviewed in order to gather information on teacher-child interaction and type and amount of support services available to the programs and sixty parents of special needs children were interviewed to obtain information on parental involvement. The analysis of the environment indicated that statistically significant differences existed in the data between the scores obtained by the different types of centres. Higher scores were obtained by segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs than day care centres. No significant statistical differences were found between types of settings for child-child interaction and teacher-child interaction, although there were large differences among centres within a type. Special needs children across settings were observed mostly in parallel, solitary, and associative play. Little cooperative and dramatic play was observed across types of settings. Teachers in all types of settings spent a high portion of their time talking to children on a one-to-one basis. Teachers in day care centres spent significantly more time talking to children about matters related to misbehavior rather than academics. Little use of praise and corrective feedback was observed by teachers of special needs preschool children. Greater availability and higher expectations for parental involvement existed both in segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs than in day care centres for parents of special needs children. Support services for preschool programs were very low in the community the research sampled.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.