Issues and Needs in Rural Early Childhood Special Education Services in Florida: A Delphi Study.Reportar como inadecuado

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A Delphi Technique was used to examine the problems of early childhood special education programs in rural Florida. Two rounds of questionnaires were completed by a panel of early childhood special education administrators and teachers from 14 of Florida's 27 rural counties. In response to the questionnaires, the panel developed 51 problem-related statements and 39 suggestions for improvements in service delivery. Compared to administrators, teachers were more concerned with issues raised by the 51 problem-related statements, and more positive about most suggested program modifications. Teachers and administrators diverged significantly on 33 percent of suggested modifications. The problem statements fell into six categories: educational staff problems, educational programming concerns, funding issues, rural ecology issues, family concerns, and issues with other service providers. The rural ecology category had the most problem statements, many encompassing problems related to long distances between home and school and the prevalence of rural poverty. The individual problems identified as most important (over 70 percent agreement) were lack of parental child care skills, lack of stable home environments, lack of specialized care providers, lack of funds for teachers and facilities, lack of parent involvement, long bus rides for students, and lack of preschool experiences due to rural isolation. The most strongly supported modifications were establishing home-school liaisons, increasing family counseling services, providing funding mechanisms sufficient to attract more rural service providers, and lowering child-teacher ratios. (SV)

Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Delivery Systems, Delphi Technique, Early Childhood Education, Educational Needs, Family Problems, Financial Problems, Geographic Isolation, Needs Assessment, Rural Education, Special Education, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Shortage

Autor: Weiss, Keith E.; Correa, Vivian I.


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