Assistant Professor Pamela Epley is investigating facilitators and barriers to effective partnerships between preschool teachers and parents of young children with disabilities.

Within early childhood special education, parent-professional partnerships have long been recognized as essential to effectively meeting the need of young children with disabilities. Early childhood special education teachers are exposed to this best practice in both teacher education programs and professional development. Research has shown that general early childhood education teachers, however, often receive little training and feel unprepared to meet the needs of students with disabilities and form partnerships with their parents.

Epley is examining the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of preschool teachers regarding their ability to meet the needs of students with disabilities and partner with their parents. Data from this study will be used to develop strategies for enhancing parent-professional partnerships and thereby promoting positive outcomes for preschoolers with disabilities.