Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version

Fall 2004


Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, vol. 27, no. 4 (Fall 2004), pp. 384-395; doi: 10.1177/088840640402700406


Copyright © 2004 by Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children; published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


A family-centered approach is recommended as best practice in the field of early intervention. However, recent research suggests that some professionals in the field do not always implement familycentered services. This study investigated the content taught to pre-service early intervention/early childhood special education students regarding family-centered services. Eighty-two faculty members from institutions of higher education across the U.S. rated the importance of and the extent to which they taught five categories of content associated with family-centered services. Content associated with Knowledge of Families, IFSP/IEP Skills, and Respecting Diversity were taught significantly more than Communication Skills and Knowledge of Team Work. All five categories of content were taught to at least a moderate degree and each category was rated as moderately important to crucial for students. The categories rated as most important were also taught most extensively.