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ERIC Number: ED523715
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 121
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-1534-8
ISSN: N/A
Superintendents' Knowledge of Special Education and Its Implications to Their Practice
Outka, Janeen
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of South Dakota
Superintendents must manage all programs within a school district, but many superintendents do not possess the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully direct a district's special education program. This study examined superintendents' perceptions of their knowledge of special education and the importance of that knowledge to their practice. Selected items from an instrument previously developed by Dr. Joel Arick were used to collect data from a random sample of 129 superintendents in South Dakota. Five-point Likert-type scales were used to measure the differences of the respondents' perceptions of their knowledge of special education and the importance of that knowledge. Computation of item means and rankings indicated that respondents considered themselves most knowledgeable in special education funding and considered knowledge of special education funding and the facilitation of collaboration between special education and general education staff to be most important to their practice. Results also showed that respondents considered themselves least knowledgeable of education for students with severe disabilities and that knowledge of that topic was also least important to their practice. Analyses of variance at the p = 0.05 level were used to determine significant differences in knowledge based on selected demographics of student enrollment, highest degree earned, and administrative and teaching experience. Item analyses indicated significant differences for two of the 17 knowledge items in relation to administrative and teaching experience. Superintendents with 21-30 years of teaching and administrative experience rated their knowledge of promotion of appropriate student behavior greater than that of superintendents with 30 or more years of teaching and administrative experience. Superintendents with 21-30 years of administrative experience rated their knowledge of special education funding to be greater than that of superintendents with 10 or fewer years experience. Significant differences were not found in relation to enrollment or highest degree earned. Item analysis indicated there were no significant differences in rating importance of special education knowledge in relation to enrollment, highest degree earned, administrative and teaching experience. A Pearson product moment correlation indicated statistical significance at the .01 level between the knowledge and importance of each of the 17 items. Item analysis indicated the greatest correlations between knowledge and importance of evaluation of special education program effectiveness and quality, education for students with severe disabilities' and placement in least-restrictive environments. Finally, superintendents were asked to rate potential barriers to their advancement of knowledge of special education. Respondents indicated lack of time as the greatest barrier in advancing their knowledge. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Dakota