Educational Leadership, Special Education, Middle Grades
This study was developed to determine middle school principals' knowledge about the structure of the special education program in their schools and the support given to the personnel who serve students with disabilities in that program. The principals' knowledge was compared to the application of their knowledge to determine if principals were applying what they knew when making decisions about structuring and supporting the special education program in the school and the teachers and staff who work within the programs. In addition, various personal and school factors were analyzed to determine if any of these variables were significant in explaining any differences that were found between the principals' knowledge and application of their knowledge. Finally, the principals' innovativeness was determined, and the factors in common to the groups of principals who were most and least innovative were analyzed. When the data were analyzed, a statistically significant difference was found between reported knowledge and application of knowledge. None of the school and personal variables explained this difference. A statistically significant difference existed between the two groups of principals found to be most and least innovative. When analyzed, several school and personal variables were found to possibly explain the difference, and a profile was proposed for each group. The variables included gender, subject area taught, number of years as a professional educator, number of years since completing educational leadership training, number of years as a principal, primary source of information for structuring the special education program at their school, school size, district size, and types of classes offered to students with disabilities. Further research is needed to confirm these profiles and recommendations for future research are included.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education
Educational Research, Technology, and Leadership
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Bugden, Lisa Fuehrer, "Principals Application Of Knowledge To The Structure And Support Of Special Education Programs In Florida Middle Schools" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3101.