Dissertation

Principals' attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in elementary schools in California

This study investigated principals’ attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in elementary schools in California. More specifically, this study determined the variables that have a positive relationship with principals’ attitudes toward inclusion. The variables examined in the study are: principals’ personal characteristics; different types of experiences; training and education; school characteristics; knowledge in special education law and terminology; and beliefs about appropriate placements for students with various types of disabilities.
 An online survey entitled Principals and Inclusion Survey (PIS), developed by Praisner (2000), was sent to every public elementary school principal in California with a valid email address. The intended sample was 3,839 and the actual sample size was 773. Once the data were collected, a Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) was used to determine the variables that correlate with principals’ attitudes toward inclusion. 
 The results indicated that principals in California hold positive attitudes toward inclusion. The study also revealed that principals’ experience, training, knowledge in special education law and terminology had a positive correlation with principals’ attitudes. However, variables related to demographics were not found to correlate with attitudes.
 The study recommended that there is a need for a more specific definition for the term inclusion. In addition, it emphasizes the importance of considering the variables that found to correlate with attitudes when hiring new principals and the importance of principals’ training and knowledge in special education and inclusion. Finally, it recommended that principals should develop their leadership abilities to best implement inclusive practices within their schools.

Dissertation (Ed.D., Educational Leadership)--California State University, Sacramento, 2012.

This study investigated principals’ attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in elementary schools in California. More specifically, this study determined the variables that have a positive relationship with principals’ attitudes toward inclusion. The variables examined in the study are: principals’ personal characteristics; different types of experiences; training and education; school characteristics; knowledge in special education law and terminology; and beliefs about appropriate placements for students with various types of disabilities. An online survey entitled Principals and Inclusion Survey (PIS), developed by Praisner (2000), was sent to every public elementary school principal in California with a valid email address. The intended sample was 3,839 and the actual sample size was 773. Once the data were collected, a Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) was used to determine the variables that correlate with principals’ attitudes toward inclusion. The results indicated that principals in California hold positive attitudes toward inclusion. The study also revealed that principals’ experience, training, knowledge in special education law and terminology had a positive correlation with principals’ attitudes. However, variables related to demographics were not found to correlate with attitudes. The study recommended that there is a need for a more specific definition for the term inclusion. In addition, it emphasizes the importance of considering the variables that found to correlate with attitudes when hiring new principals and the importance of principals’ training and knowledge in special education and inclusion. Finally, it recommended that principals should develop their leadership abilities to best implement inclusive practices within their schools.

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