Term of Award

Fall 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Charles Reavis

Committee Member 1

Barbara Mallory

Committee Member 2

Cordelia Zinskie

Committee Member 3

Craig Smith

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate the roles of Georgia's special education directors in the implementation of inclusion. The researcher surveyed directors' role involvement with inclusion implementation at the district and school levels across eight major categories. Demographic data were collected on the previous work experiences, number of students with disabilities in the school system, and the percentage of students with disabilities served in the general classroom. The researcher used a focus group to investigate the roles of Georgia's directors. Sixty-four percent of Georgia's directors completed the survey, and three directors participated in the focus group. Georgia's directors reported high levels of district level role involvement. Directors also reported some to high levels of school level involvement across all categories surveyed. Directors in the focus group spoke of their roles with inclusion implementation from a school level perspective. The researcher also examined the relationships between the directors previous work experiences and their roles during inclusion implementation. Directors without previous special education teaching experience reported the lowest levels of involvement with the collaboration while directors with previous general education teaching experience reported higher levels of school level vision and provision of professional learning to regular education teachers. Other previous administrative experience was not significant; however, directors in the focus group spoke of the importance of their previous administrative experiences. The researcher also analyzed the relationship between the number of students with disabilities (SWD) in the directors district and the percentage served in the general classroom. While there was no determinable relationship between the role of Georgia's directors and the number of SWD served in the general classroom, there was a relationship between the number of SWD in the school system and the roles of the directors, particularly with school level inclusion implementation. Implications include a need for professional learning in the area of program evaluation. Additionally, principals, general and special education teachers could benefit by developing a better understanding of the directors role with inclusion implementation. Further investigation is needed into the roles of special education directors, particularly in role interaction with principals.

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