The Role of the Principal in the Change Process: The Road to Inclusion
Much has been written about how school systems manage and sustain change. Central to the cultural change is the building level principal. This study was designed to examine the role of the building level principal and the relationship that exists between the teachers and the administrators with regard to implementing change.
The following research questions were utilized to frame this study:
1. What are the values and beliefs expressed by the building level principal and his/her teachers in successful inclusionary environments with regard to the inclusion of special needs children in the regular education classroom?
2. What types of relationships exist between the principal and staff in schools that are successful in the practice of inclusion?
3. How does the building level principal facilitate the knowledge creation and sharing needed to support the state and federal mandated change to inclusion through professional development?
4. What is the relationship between a principal's values and beliefs and a teacher's values and beliefs in regard to the change from a self-contained environment for special needs children to an inclusionary program?
5. How does a principal convey his/her values and beliefs regarding inclusion to his teaching staff to establish a shared commitment to facilitate and sustain the change?
6. How does the principal provide for sustainability of the mandated changes in the educational program?
7. What is the culture of the school system with regard to knowledge, collaboration and change?
In this case study, the researcher attempted to create a picture of the role of the building level principal when managing change. Teachers and administrators at three middle schools participated in the case study. Through the use surveys, interviews and document analysis, the researcher found that successful inclusionary environments are created by school systems where the principal practices distributed leadership, participates in professional development and continually shares his vision with regard to the inclusion of special education students in the regular education environment.
Advisor:Nick Bayat, Ed.D.; Sue A. Goodwin, Ph.D.; Richard Seckinger, Ph.D.; Sean Hughes, Ph.D; Charles Gorman, Ph.D
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:administrative and policy studies
Date of Publication:06/26/2007