Conceptual Models for Leading and Administrating Special Education
This chapter reviews conceptual models that guide the practice of administrative leadership for special education, and to re-conceptualize this complex work as an instructional support effort that draws on the centralized and distributed expertise of personnel across the educational enterprise. Developing a professional identity as an emerging field was major concern in the middle decades of the twentieth century and administrators responsible for special programs were motivated to create professional organizations. Conflicts arose in the complementary disciplines as educational administration programs were more apt to prepare graduates to address the majority, the large group, and organizational maintenance. Social values and legislative policies have traditionally cast long shadows over educational research, as well as the knowledge base of special education administration and leadership. Major trends within the profession of school administration have influenced special education leadership, placing emphasis in recent years on school improvement, teaching, collaboration, technology, and revived attention to issues of equity and advocacy for children and families.