Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version



Published in Topics in Early Childhood Special Education 36:2 (2016), 12pp. doi: 10.1177/0271121415626711


Copyright © 2016 Hammill Institute on Disabilities; published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


This study investigated teachers’ perspectives about two interventions designed to promote kindergarteners’ attitudes toward peers with disabilities. Interviews with teachers were conducted following the 6-week interventions. Teachers shared views on the best and most difficult aspects of the interventions, perceived benefits for teachers and children, and suggestions for improving the interventions. Teachers’ responses were analyzed using content analysis. One salient teacher reported benefit was notable improvement in social skills made by all students. Moreover, students in the experimental condition displayed increased acceptance of peers with disabilities, whereas teachers reported becoming more confident discussing the topic of disability with students. Teachers also reported that although it was difficult to step back and observe children in cooperative learning groups, it was beneficial to see that when children were given opportunities to handle social situations on their own, many were capable of doing so. Implications for practice and recommendations for future research are discussed.