In-service education and its effect upon teacher change

This study is concerned with In-Service Education and its effect upon teacher change. The program under study is sponsored by the Los Angeles Unified School District, through its Special Education Branch, at Salvin School. The Los Angeles Unified School District has received a grant from the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped, under P.L. 90-230, EHA VI-C to develop a program to integrate handicapped and non-handicapped children in a model early childhood program. The program Dual Educational Approach to Learning (DEAL), integrates handicapped and non-handicapped children aged three through eight in an early childhood program. It is an open structure program providing a divided day between a formal period and an option period. The approach is based upon the concept that children, though different individually, have common needs whether they are handicapped or non-handicapped. The in-service class for teachers was a workshop which combined observation with participation and involved an in-depth exploration of many facets of the model early childhood program. The program objective was to encourage teachers to use whatever portion of the DEAL approach which was feasible in their own schools and to interest other teachers at each school in the curricular approach. The class represented also a pilot effort at dissemination of program information, an effort which is to be implemented in 1975. The writer was a participant both in the classroom with the children and, later, in the in-service class with teachers; the project is a follow-up study on the results of the in-service class. Questions were directed at the teacher’s view of the results of the program and the extent to which they, subsequently initiated and become involved with some aspects of the DEAL Program in their own schools.