Journal of Educational Research and Practice




Inclusive education (IE) in the early years enhances young children’s learning, socialization, and development; yet, children with disability are one group that is often isolated, excluded, or marginalized in early childhood education. This paper examines jointly the perceived exclusion practices, teacher qualities, and professional development and the interplay and impact of these factors on effective inclusive early childhood education. Drawing on data collected from individual interviews with teachers and headteachers in a large early childhood and school setting in Ghana, findings of this qualitative study indicate the exclusion practices of teachers. The findings suggest that resistance to IE limits learning, engagement, and social opportunities for children, especially those with disability. The findings also identify that effective teacher qualities and professional development enhance the provision of quality inclusive early childhood education. The study reinforces the need for improved support for teachers and to make sure that they are placed at the center of IE policy and practice.