Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

5-2011

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Pamela H. Scott

Committee Members

Virginia P. Foley, Eric S. Glover, Cecil N. Blankenship

Abstract

Legislation enacted by federal and state governments has created a transition in the service delivery model of instruction provided to many students identified as having an educational disability. As a result of this transition, more emphasis is being placed on educating these students in the least restrictive environment, which moves these students from a self-contained model into a collaborative or inclusive setting. This transition has also created a situation where building level administrators are now evaluating and observing special education teachers in a variety of instructional settings.

This qualitative study was conducted in order to examine perceptions of a group of special education directors and coordinators from Region VII, which is located in the extreme southwest portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Two questionnaires were distributed to each school division in Region VII in order to investigate perceptions regarding the evaluation process. Participants were asked to comment on topics that included key indicators, types of observations conducted, and if building level administrators were prepared to conduct observations and evaluations of special education teachers in a variety of instructional settings.

The 2 questionnaires were analyzed using Strauss and Corbin's Constant Comparison Analysis Method to identify any repetitive themes. Analysis showed 3 recurring themes. The themes revealed a need for more professional development for building level administrators about special education and the special education process. Secondly, colleges and universities should examine their curriculums in principal preparation programs to affirm that proper training is being provided for new administrators. Finally, local school divisions should examine their evaluation and observation tools to see if additional components relating specifically to special education need to be added.

Results from this study indicate that while administrators are doing a good job evaluating special education teachers and programs, additional resources are needed. Attention to this study may help in the development of an evaluation and observation instrument that may provide better insight into the specific roles and responsibilities placed on special education teachers regardless of the instructional setting and offer administrators a better understanding of the multifaceted daily activities experienced by special educators.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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