Early childhood inclusive education has become an educational trend as well as the main placement for young children with special needs. Under the circumstance of lacking the knowledge and abilities of inclusion, early childhood teachers faced many difficulties at work. The Preschool Itinerant Service became one of the supportive resources. The purpose of this research was to investigate the transformative learning process of an early childhood teacher who participated the Preschool Itinerant Service.
A set of semi-structured questions was used to interview the main subject, the early childhood teacher, in depth. Other information was collected through interviewing the itinerant teacher, recording the itinerant meetings, and reviewing relevant documents. The researcher analyzed all the information, categorized them into six themes, and compared them with the ten stages of Mezirow’s transformative learning theory. The consequences of four themes that were “understanding the characters of Autism,” “using strategies to promote cognitive learning,” “using strategies to prolong the attention-span,” and “stimulating the social interaction behavior” corresponded the transformative learning stages. Two themes “transdisciplinary collaboration and articulation” and “fine motor abilities and writing ” failed to approach the transformative learning.
Three reasons including the teacher herself, itinerant service model, and the preschool that were related to the failure of approaching the transformative learning were discussed. The teacher had low learning motivation, passive attitudes toward the itinerant, and distorted perspectives toward early childhood education. Most important, the teacher did not have the reflective thinking toward her professional knowledge and abilities.
The reasons concerning the preschool included inappropriate preschool education perspectives and teaching materials, as well as the lack of human resources to promote inclusion. Concerning the itinerant service, the relative reasons included low service frequency, did not require the teacher to write and practice IEP, or build a better communication method. According to the research results, relevant suggestions for the early childhood teacher, the preschool itinerant service model, and future research were provided.