Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.
Educational Administration and Higher Education
School of Education
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
special education, job satisfaction, attrition, retention, support practices, principal support, principal professional development
National trends in research and across Minnesota have shown many special education teaching positions go unfilled and a third of special education teachers leave the field within their first five years of employment (MN PELSB, 2017). Special education teachers indicate a need or desire for support from principals; however, principals have a history of limited understanding or training in special education (Weiss, 2001; McHatton, Boyer, Shaunessy, & Terry, 2010; Fall & Billingsley, 2011; Lynch, 2012; Pazey & Cole, 2012; Christensen, Robertson, Williamson, & Hunter, 2013 Horrison-Collier, 2013; Mehrenberg, 2013; Sheldrake, 2013; Fenski, 2017). Past research demonstrates administrative support is important for special education teacher job satisfaction (Prather-Jones, 2011; Benjamin & Black, 2012; Berry, 2012; Horrison-Collier, 2013; Cancio, Albrecht, and Johns, 2014; Bettini et al., (2016); Conley & You, 2017; Kelchtermans, 2017; Koonkongsatian, 2017; and Bettini et al., 2020).
This study analyzed survey results from Minnesota special education teachers and principals pertaining to leadership practices principals use that impact special education teacher job satisfaction. The principal survey also investigated principal confidence in understanding, training, and supporting special education teachers and programs, as well as their professional development practices in the area of special education.
Two-thirds of participating principals indicate being unprepared for supporting special education and related programs. Principals want special education teachers to use informed practices; however, special education teachers want to be trusted to teach how they determine is necessary. Principals also report higher job satisfaction in special education teachers compared to what special education teachers report.
Przekwas, Julie Mae, "Minnesota Principal Knowledge and Support of Special Education and Special Education Teacher Job Satisfaction" (2021). Culminating Projects in Education Administration and Leadership. 76.