Elementary school principals' attitudes and training as they relate to their least restrictive environment (LRE) practices toward self-contained learning disabled and/or emotionally impaired students
Pottinger, Richard C.
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If the intent of Public Law 94-142 is to be realized as it pertains to the provision of appropriate placement and programming within the least restrictive environment for handicapped students, there must be an improved understanding of the attitudes, training, and experience of the principal as they relate to his practices. The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes and training of elementary school principals in a large mid-Atlantic school system as they related to their least restrictive environment practices toward students with specific learning disabilities and/or emotional disturbances who are placed in self-contained, (Level 4) special education classes in their schools. A review of literature indicated no instruments emphasizing elementary school principals' attitudes, training, and current LRE practices. A survey instrument was developed that was sensitive to the above variables. The sample which responded to the survey instrument included 46 elementary school principals who supervise self-contained (level 4) learning disabilities and/or emotionally impaired classes out of a total population of 46 principals and 72 special education teachers working with these programs. The mu1ti—part survey instrument completed by principals included 3 sections: LRE Practices, Opinions Related to LRE Practices, and Demographics. Thirteen LRE activities were delineated to provide a composite of the LRE practices over which the principal has direct influence. The special education teachers responded to a modified survey instrument that focused on their principals' LRE practices.
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