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Megan Purcell, PhD

Research Interests

Best practice in the preparation of early childhood educators and early interventionists, reflective teaching, implementation of the DEC Recommended Practices in practice


I completed my graduate training in early childhood special education and family studies at the University of Kansas. My research and teaching are intertwined and drive my preparation of providers who will serve young children with and without disabilities and their families. Through best practice and the implementation of the DEC Recommended Practices, we see an increase in positive outcomes for children and families. My ultimate goal is to work with and prepare current and future early childhood educators and early interventionists to provide highly effective, inclusive services for ALL children to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Selected Publications

  • Purcell, M., Horn, E., & Palmer, S. (2007). The initiation and implementation of early childhood inclusion. Exceptional Children, 74, 85-99.
  • Purcell, M., Turnbull, A., & Wood-Jackson, C. (2006). Linking early childhood inclusion and family quality of life: Current literature and future directions. Young Exceptional Children, 9(3), 10-19.


  • 2003, PhD, Special Education, emphasis in Early Childhood Special Education and Family Studies, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
  • 1995, MAT, Special Education, emphasis in K-12 Education, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
  • 1992, BA, Child Development & Learning and American Sign Language, Maryville College, Maryville, TN

Courses Recently Taught

• HDFS 405:  Language, Literacy, and Social Studies in Preschool and Primary Grades

• HDFS 408:  Curriculum Applications of Atypical Development

• HDFS 450:  Supervised Teaching in Inclusive Programs for Young Children

• HDFS 412:  Music and Movement in Preschool and Primary Grades