Elementary principals' involvement with special education programs in their schools
AuthorSisson, Stephen Wesley
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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 investigate perceived levels of involvement and training needs of elementary principals in special education. Perceptions of 133 elementary principals, 13 special education directors and 33 university faculty members were examined and compared regarding principals' role in special education. Participant responded to a survey developed and pilot-tested for this study that examined principals' involvement in thirty-six special education activities; ideal level of involvement; and types of training needed to best support principals in managing special education programs in their schools. Inferential analyses included Mixed Model MANOVAs to determine: the relationship between the three groups and three areas of activities; the ideal levels of involvement; and differences in gender. General Linear Models were utilized to determine the effects of principals' training in special education. Mixed-Model and One-Way ANOVAs determined desired areas of training for principals. Results suggest that the more course work that principals take in special education, the greater is their involvement in special education. Principals perceived that they are more involved in special education programs than was perceived by both directors and university faculty. Twice the number of significant differences were seen between principals and faculty than between principals and directors. There were no significant differences between male and female principals. Principals believed that they were currently functioning at their ideal level. Conversely, directors believed that principals need to increase their involvement to reach an ideal level. No significant differences were found between principals and directors as to an ideal level of involvement. Faculty perceived that principals need to significantly expand their involvement to attain an ideal level. Principals selected Emerging Legal Issues in Special Education, Procedures for Special Education Discipline, and Proper Special Education Documentation as administrative areas for additional training. Principals indicated that they favored supplementary training in managing Behaviorally Disordered, Chronically Disciplined and Emotionally Disabled students. Results have implications for the need to more clearly define the role of principals in special education activities and to develop a standard for principals' involvement. In addition, results indicate a need for more adequate pre-service/in-service preparation of principals in the areas of special education.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Special Education and Rehabilitation