Educational leaders' beliefs and attitudes regarding core and current issues in special education

Josie Lucker, University of Texas at El Paso


The purpose of this study was to examine education leaders' knowledge of core and current issues in special education and how this knowledge is acquired. The study also examined the educational leaders' beliefs and practices regarding collaboration, response-to-intervention, and inclusion. Finally, the study examined the social justice issues that arise with the responsibility to educate "all" students (FAPE). An on-line survey was answered by 161 principals and assistant principals in an Education Service Center in West Texas. A limited understanding of current issues in special education was found among campus administrators. Especially, in the areas of learning and effective teaching practices such as universally designed lessons and the general education initiative of response-to-intervention. The majority of the respondents had no prior experience in special education, 46% had no experience with RTI; less than 50% reported having completed a course devoted to the administration of special education programs, special education issues and special education law. Almost half of the educational leaders (47.2%) indicated that their certification program "had not" prepared them to deal with special education issues. Regarding the educational leaders' ethical outlook in dealing with students with disabilities and how they viewed their responsibility to educate students with disabilities, more than 90% believed that educational leaders were responsible for educating all students, included were students with disabilities. Yet only, approximately 60% were in agreement to include test scores of special education students on the campus accountability rating.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Special education

Recommended Citation

Lucker, Josie, "Educational leaders' beliefs and attitudes regarding core and current issues in special education" (2012). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3513390.