Yanhui Pang and Barbara Wert
Family-centered practices are the key to successful early intervention (EI) service delivery. University faculty members should help preservice teachers develop awareness and initial understanding of family-centered practices through course content and practicum. The current study focuses on preservice teachers’ attitudes towards family-centered practices in EI service delivery. Eighty-seven preservice teachers participated in the study and wrote pre- and post-essays about their beliefs of family-centered service delivery before and after they took the Introduction to Early Intervention course. Pre- and post study was compared using the inductive content analysis and grounded theory and the effectiveness of the course content and instruction in influencing preservice teachers’ understanding and belief about family-centered practices were discussed. Results show that after taking the course the participating preservice teachers have a deeper understanding of the importance of family-centered practices in EI, the roles families played in service delivery as well as the collaboration families set up with professionals in the transition process. In addition, they also have a better understanding of the special challenges families and professionals may encounter in delivering family-centered practices.
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