Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Donn Gresso

Committee Members

Russell West, Cecil Blankenship, Hal Knight


The problem of this study was to identify the professional development needs of the school leader to facilitate the inclusion of students with handicaps into the regular education program. This was a descriptive study which utilized questionnaire methodology. The Change Facilitators Stages of Concern Questionnaire (CFSoCQ) was the instrument selected as appropriate for the study. Permission was obtained from Dr. Gene Hall at the University of Northern Colorado to reproduce and administer the CFSoCQ. The population of this study was school leaders working in Tennessee public schools. A demographic data sheet and the CFSoCQ were mailed to 500 selected school leaders. A 63% return was obtained. The data sheet asked for the school leaders' current assignment, years as a school leader, enrollment of school, view of themselves as innovators, contact with persons with handicaps, training to deal with persons with handicaps, and experience with persons with handicaps. Analysis of the data collected to answer the four research questions and 14 hypotheses revealed the following: Studies over the past five years have shown the thrust not just to bring students with handicaps into the regular school building, but to include these students in regular education classes. Tennessee school leaders do not appear to be professionally developed to face the challenge of facilitating inclusion. Ninety-two percent of the school leaders indicated their most intense concerns were at the Awareness, Information, and Personal Stages of Concern. The data appeared to indicate that Tennessee school leaders were likely to have high Self Concerns regarding inclusion. Professional development was recommended using the findings obtained from the study for Self Concerns. Change facilitation relating to inclusion at the point of Self Concerns had to do with feelings of potential inadequacy, self-doubts about the knowledge required, or uncertainty about the new situation. The implication for successful facilitation for inclusion was to individualize interventions by centering attention on the concerns of those engaged in the inclusion process and accepting those concerns as legitimate reflections of inclusion in progress.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.