Principals’ Perceptions of their Knowledge in Special Education

Maria Banda Roberts, Federico R Guerra


With the Every Student Succeeds Act continuing to legislate accountability for special education and Hispanic students, the appropriate content in principal preparation programs relevant to successful leadership of special education programs is vital. This mixed methods study analyzed the survey responses of 84 principals in South Texas from predominantly Hispanic schools to determine the principals’ perceptions regarding their legal, foundational, and contextual knowledge of special education and their suggested topics for inclusion in curriculum content of principal preparation programs to provide the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively implement and supervise special education programs. Results indicated that the principals’ greatest knowledge was of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (100%) and the lowest area of knowledge was in designing curriculum for students with disabilities (65%). The most frequent recommendation for inclusion in principal preparation was for additional content in special education laws, Section 504, and Response to Intervention.


Equity; Special Education Leadership; Principal Preparation

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