Elementary school assistant principals' attitudes toward inclusion of special needs students in the general education setting

Date
2009-12
Authors
Harris, Jerri De'Lane
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the elementary school assistant principals' attitudes and recommended instructional arrangement related to the inclusion of special needs students in the general education setting. The following six questions guided the study: (1) Are the attitudes of the elementary school assistant principals more positive or negative in relation to the inclusion of special education students in the general education setting? (2) Is there a relationship between the elementary school assistant principals' knowledge of special education law and their attitudes toward inclusion? (3) Which instructional arrangement does the elementary school assistant principal recommend for students with autism? (4) Which instructional arrangement does the elementary school assistant principal recommend for students with serious emotional disturbance? (5) Which instructional arrangement does the elementary school assistant principal recommend for students with specific learning disabilities? (6) Which instructional arrangement does the elementary school assistant principal recommend for students with mental retardation?

The study involved a quantitative survey that measured the elementary school assistant principals' attitude and recommended instructional arrangement related to the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education setting.

The findings of this study revealed that the elementary school assistant principals responded convolutedly in regards to the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education setting. There were relationships found between the elementary school assistant principals' knowledge of special education law, and their attitudes toward inclusion. Additionally, relationships were found between the elementary school assistant principals' years of teaching regular education, years of teaching special education, and training in inclusive practices.

When recommending the appropriate instructional arrangement for students with disabilities, the elementary school assistant principals' recommendations varied. The elementary school assistant principals recommended that students with autism, mental retardation, and serious emotional disturbance be placed in more restrictive settings for most or all of the school day; however, for students with specific learning disabilities, the elementary school assistant principals recommended that these students receive regular classroom instruction with support and resources.

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Keywords
Education, Assistant principals, Elementary school, Inclusion, Special needs students
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