Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Victoria Dimidjian


Early Intervention, Early Childhood Special Education, Early Childhood Curricula, Classroom Environment, Developmentally Appropriate, Staff Development, Inservice Training, Preschool Handicapped, Instructional Planning.


This practicum was designed to improve the ability of instructional practices in a preschool special education program. The major goal was to offer teachers strategies for systematic and consistent planning in order to produce optimal learning conditions in five preschool special education classes. The objectives were to improve the classroom environments, to improve planning for small and large group interactions and to develop methods of individualizing to meet the wholistic needs of each child. Practicum implementation included twelve weekly inservice sessions followed by twelve weeks of classroom implementation of techniques and materials that had been developed. Utilization of the unit topic approach was the primary tool in working toward the objectives. The units provided a framework for planning that included designing physical space, selecting activities for small and total group instruction and developing strategies for individualization. Evaluation was accomplished by using checklists developed by the writer for each objective. Other evaluation information was gained from teacher feedback, parent comments, and perusal of lesson plans. The value of this practicum can be reported qualitatively by teacher performance and evidence of changes in classroom planning and organization. Analysis of the data revealed that classroom environments and planning/teaching strategies improved. The cooperative efforts of the participants produced positive changes in instructional practices in the preschool special education program.

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