Education Leadership Preparation and Special Education: A Multiple Case Study of Female Beginning School-Based Administrators




Macedonia , Anna M.

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The purpose of this qualitative, multiple case study, was to investigate female beginning school-based administrators’ perceptions of their roles and responsibilities in regard to special education and how their university-based preparation influenced their knowledge, skills, and practices in providing administrative support to special education teachers. Multiple data sources including semi-structured interviews, focus group, electronic correspondence, and documents were coded and analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six phase thematic analysis process. Each participant was considered a single case and data was analyzed individually through three within-case analyses, as well as through a cross-case synthesis. Findings from the cross-case synthesis yielded two areas of divergence: (a) the role of data to inform instructional practices and support and (b) Education Leadership cohort as a community of practice and four main areas of convergence: (a) female and white school-based administrators in a male dominated profession, (b) education landscape of COVID-19 and roles and responsibilities of school-based administrators, (c) job experience and Education Leadership on preparation and practice, and (d) recommendations for Educational Leadership program. Elaboration of the Conceptual Model is presented. Implications for education leadership programs and school districts are presented and areas of future research are discussed.



Special education, Educational leadership, Administrative support, Multiple case study, School-based administrators, Special education, University-based preparation