Barton & Smith, 2015

Advancing High-Quality Preschool: A Discussion and Recommendations for the Field

The crux of this article (in the context of 8304) is its recommendation to use an Implementation Science Framework to increase inclusion of pre-school students with disabilities in classrooms with typically-developing children. Implementation Science explores how a particular evidence-based policy can be successfully implemented in an educational system. It suggests there are particular leadership and organization supports that increase the chances of facilitating lasting change in educational systems. For example, the following practices were recommended: creating work groups to focus on identifying local policy barriers to inclusion, appointing community leaders to address attitude and belief challenges in the local population, and enlisting state directors of special education in establishing short and long term goals related to inclusion.

The implementation science angle reminds me of the work I did in a course on UDL. The final project in the course was developing a system-wide plan for change and support of implementation of UDL principles. It seemed widely recognized that one educator, one principal, even one school board member could not make the change to using UDL as an educational foundation on their own. Instead, the entire system must be revamped to reflect the iterative and change-oriented atmosphere to support its implementation. In addition, the system of implementation recommended in the course was to use UDL to implement UDL How meta, yes? This was an interesting feature, which perhaps does not apply to all implementations of change. Even so, the most important part of the final project was engaging all parts of a system in the change (using UDL to implement UDL). Most importantly, continuous PD was emphasized as crucial to sustaining interest and enthusiasm. I wonder if this method worked because of the “using UDL” part or the “systemic engagement” part (as an instantiation of a successful Implementation Science approach).

 

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