Term of Award

Summer 2002

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Cathy Jording

Committee Member 1

Michael Richardson

Committee Member 2

T. C. Chan

Committee Member 3

Mary Ann Nelson

Abstract

While considerable research has been conducted concerning the perceptions of teachers regarding the practice of inclusion, there is little corresponding research about the perceptions of principals towards inclusion. Also, much ofthe existing research is contradictory. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to provide educational policymakers with data regarding inclusion. Since principals are responsible for designing and instituting inclusion programs at the school level, their current and prevailing perceptions regarding inclusion were the missing pieces of the information puzzle.

In an attempt to fill this void, the researcher created a survey with quantitative and qualitative components. The survey was distributed to all public high school principals in the state of Georgia. The returned surveys were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (1999).

The researcher found that Georgia public high school principals perceived that inclusion had an average impact on academic achievement and discipline and disruptions. They perceived that collaboration and planning between general and special education teachers were highly important and that they had received more than adequate college training to serve students with and without disabilities in an inclusion classroom. Gender, age, and years of experience had an average impact on the principals' perceptions of inclusion, while area of certification was a significant factor in a principal's willingness to accept inclusion as a method of serving students with and without disabilities.

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