Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eric S. Glover

Committee Members

Elizabeth Ralston, James H. Lampley, Virginia P. Foley


The purpose of this study was to learn from kindergarten- through 8th-grade principals in East Tennessee (a) what policies guide their decisions regarding classroom placement for multiple-birth children; (b) what postsecondary training they have; (c) what sources guide their decisions; (d) what knowledge they have of the needs, relationships, and bonds of multiples; and (e) what their perceptions are regarding how to best meet the needs of multiples.

Data were collected through interviews with a purposeful sample of 10 principals of kindergarten- through 8th-grade schools. Five themes emerged forming constructs for organizational framework: (a) learning environment, (b) meeting individual needs, (c) communication, (d) culture, and (e) perceptions.

Based on the research, the following conclusions were presented: Prior to Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-6-3102, effective July 1, 2010, none of the school systems had placement policies. Most principals had no postsecondary or graduate school training specific to and were not knowledgeable of the educational psychology of multiples or implications regarding their developmental, emotional, and academic issues. Most said on-the-job training was their only instruction. Few principals were aware of the needs, relationships, and bonds of multiples. Principals stated their conviction that separating multiples would promote individuality and foster independence.

Findings from this study might result in colleges modifying their teachers' education curriculum to include the educational psychology of multiples and implications regarding their developmental, emotional, and academic issues. Principals currently serving should enlighten themselves regarding the educational psychology of multiples to include the dynamics of the multiples' relationships and the bond that exists between them. School districts should provide education for staff regarding the development of multiples. Principals should recognize parents of multiples as their best source of guidance and look to school psychologists as resources. It is recommended that principals work with families, become more acquainted with multiples, and seek their opinions when making decisions that affect them. It is recommended that if principals want to help multiples become independent and develop as individuals, they should learn to tell them apart and call them by their individual names rather than twin or triplet.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.