Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Donald Yarosz


Preschool children exhibiting challenging behaviors are expelled or suspended instead of identified, evaluated, and linked to appropriate services for their needs. This qualitative case study explored preschool teacher, administrator, and technical assistant perspectives related to identifying, evaluating, and linking to appropriate services children with challenging behaviors which the research questions focused on. The research frameworks were the ecological systems theory and assertive behavioral model. Purposeful sampling was used to select 10 teachers, two administrators, and two technical assistants who worked in a preschool center for at least 1 year and experienced one or more past incidents where they had to address challenging student behavior share their perspectives through semistructured interviews. Data were analyzed using inductive analysis. Concept coding was used to code data and answer the research questions. Five themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) formal and informal assessments, (b)managing challenging behaviors, (c)participants’ experiences of difficulties, (d) strategies involving communication and collaboration, and (e) successes in addressing challenging behaviors among preschool children. The implication for positive social change is a better understanding of the difficulties school staff encounter when addressing challenging behaviors in the preschool setting. Findings may help school staff understand the need for greater collaboration between educators and parents which could positively support the development and preparation of students and addressing challenging behaviors.