A qualitative study of social dynamics in an inclusive preschool

Elizabeth J. Erwin, Elizabeth Alimaras, Nikki Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This qualitative pilot study explored social dynamics within a typical preschool classroom that included Ryan, a 3-year-old with severe visual impairments. Observational and interview data were collected in an effort to provide a full and rich portrait of events, experiences, and perceptions. The following themes emerged, which provide new insight about the social dynamics of one early childhood inclusive setting: 1) social encounters, 2) initiations and terminations, 3) communication breakdown, 4) conflicts and negotiation, and 5) social acceptance. The findings indicated that Ryan was an active participant in shared social experiences with his peers, which contributed to his membership and acceptance. Adult mediation and interpretation of the environment are discussed and future areas for research are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-67
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Research in Childhood Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1999


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