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The methodology of using a mixed qualitative and quantitative research design to evaluate 16 inclusive preschool programs in a continuing study is detailed. The qualitative approach was used to understand the general phenomenon and integrated with more quantitative, structured, and precise measures in an iterative, sequential process to develop repeated data collection activities and expand data interpretation. At each site, five children with disabilities, two typically developing peers, the children's families, direct service providers, and administrators and policy makers were involved in the study. The qualitative phase involved participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis. Quantitative measures encompassed survey questionnaires and measures of child behavior, friendship patterns, and the educational context. The process of data reduction, comparison, and integration for both qualitative and quantitative phases is detailed. Systematic comparison of information from interviews and survey data is illustrated in a table. Comparison involved the following themes: (1) how and why the child was placed in the program; (2) the program's appropriateness for the child; (3) the meaning of inclusion; (4) peer relationships; (5) helpful and non-helpful players; and (6) the child's participation in family and community activities. (DB)

Descriptors: Disabilities, Inclusive Schools, Interviews, Mainstreaming, Preschool Education, Qualitative Research, Questionnaires, Research Design, Research Methodology, Statistical Analysis, Surveys

Autor: Marquart, Jules M.; And Others


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