Coordinating mechanisms used by special education administrators in public schools.
AuthorJohnson, Leila Nader.
AdvisorSacken, Donal M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study was designed to identify the processes and devices used by special education administrators to coordinate the work of principals in implementing programs for handicapped students. Based on literature of organizational structures and of school district administration, interview protocols were developed to elicit information about the use of coordinating mechanisms in schools. Data was gathered through field interviews with a stratified sample of ten special education directors and twenty-one principals in ten school districts in Arizona. The data were subjected to two iterations of analysis: computer assisted analysis yielding frequency distributions, percentages, and cross tabulations, and descriptive analysis. Four coordinating mechanisms were found to be used by directors in working with principals: commitment to common goals, direct supervision, standardization of processes, and mutual adjustment. The use of coordinating mechanisms varied in relation to school level, structural complexity, and environmental stability and complexity. The major mode of coordination was mutual adjustment, with both directors and principals relying on direct contact more than any other device for information sharing, decision making, and conflict resolution. The study revealed a surprising level of conflict surrounding the implementation of handicapped programs. This conflict was discussed in relation to various aspects of school practice, management, and governance. Implications of the findings for administrative training programs, public policy developers, and practicing administrators were discussed, and recommendations were made for further research.
Degree ProgramEducational Foundations and Administration