School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Primary Subject Area
Cookson, Gary, "The Experiences of Principals Establishing Special Education Programs in Christian Schools" (2010). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 353.
As public school principals articulate policies and implement procedures for the establishment of special education programs, the same programs are not always provided in Christian schools. The question is raised as to why Christian schools do not provide these services. This phenomenological study investigated the experiences of Christian school principals who have implemented special education programs in their schools. Through the use of interviews, the principals indicated the efforts involved in implementing changes in the school and noted challenges in dealing with reluctant staff members. Principals described the academic and social rewards of providing these services, as well as the satisfaction of parents who could now send their children with special needs to a Christian school. One theme evidenced in this study was the spiritual change in the school as all students interacted and cared for each other. The most prominent themes expressed by principals were the personal rewards of establishing the new programs and the belief that they were fulfilling a God-given duty to provide a Christian education for all students.