Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ed.D.)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Mary Ellen Freeley

Second Advisor

Seokhee Cho

Third Advisor

Erin Fahle


When a school includes special education students in the general education classroom, it impacts all staff, teachers, and students. The purpose of this study was to consider inclusion of high school special education students in general education classrooms from the perspectives of principals, general education teachers, and special education teachers. From these perspectives, best practices for inclusion, supports and barriers to inclusion, and the principal’s role as a change agent when implementing inclusion was investigated.

Eighty-eight high schools following a 9-12 grade configuration in Long Island, New York were surveyed. Surveys were sent to the principal, general education teachers, and special education teachers at each of those schools. The surveys collected demographic data and addressed the four constructs that are measures of a successful inclusion program: (1) Principal’s Role, (2) Organizational Support, (3) Best Practices and (4) Barriers.

SPSS software was utilized to compute the data collected from the surveys. A factorial ANOVA was utilized. Four dependent variables: (1) Principal’s Role, (2) Organizational Support, (3) Best Practices and (4) Barriers were constructed corresponding to the four constructs measured by the survey.

All three groups were in agreement regarding best practices and barriers; however, neither teacher group was in agreement with the principals group with regards to the principal’s role and organizational support.