An exploration of ways in which Waikato primary school principals address the multiple learning requirements of children with special educational needs
Symes, R. (2014). An exploration of ways in which Waikato primary school principals address the multiple learning requirements of children with special educational needs (Thesis, Master of Educational Leadership (MEdLeadership)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8724
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8724
Based on research evidence from New Zealand, England and the USA, it is likely that there could be an increasing number of students with special needs enrolling in New Zealand schools. This trend reinforces the need for an additional aspect to the usual leadership practices in New Zealand primary schools. This research project focuses on the need for effective leadership that is socially just and equitable in addressing the requirements of learners with special needs. The thesis reports on a small scale research project that explored the responses of a number of primary school principals to the issues inherent in providing viable and equitable learning opportunities for students with special needs. The study identifies seven main themes which could aid school leaders in identifying learners with special needs and providing an equitable education. These key themes include: Fluidity of student need and a reluctance to categorise and label students; addressing special needs as a specific element of effective leadership; building capacity for change and development; data collection systems are essential for informing decisions; moral purpose and social justice are key drivers in special education; the best learning environment for student with special needs - withdrawal or full inclusion; and limited resourcing requires focused decision making.
University of Waikato
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