Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Charles C. Warfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Patrick M. Jenlink

Third Advisor

Dr. Walter Burt


The full-time inclusion of disabled students in regular education classrooms on a full-time basis is an emerging practice in schools across the United States and other countries (Stainback & Stainback, 1992). In school systems which have traditionally educated disabled and nondisabled students in separate classrooms, the principal is increasingly recognized as ,"... being the one individual above all others who is of critical importance in creating an effective school" (Ubben & Hughes, 1992, p. 19).

Therefore, this study investigated the principal’s leadership behavior in schools which educate moderately and severely disabled students in regular education classrooms on a full-time basis. More specifically, the purposes of this study were: (a) to determine whether the leadership behaviors of principals, as perceived by teachers, tend to be more transformational or more transactional; and (b) to determine whether there was a difference in the leadership behaviors of principals and the extent to which principals motivate teachers to exert effort beyond the ordinary.

The subjects were 44 teachers from 5 school districts which participated in the Michigan Inclusive Education Project. The independent variable was leadership behaviors of the principal, defined as varying degrees of transformational and transactional leadership. The dependent variable was defined as principals’ ability to impact teacher motivation. Data were collected via teacher responses to the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), developed by Bernard Bass.

Three hypotheses were generated and tested based on the purposes of the study. The results of the study indicate that principals were perceived by teachers to exhibit more transformational leadership behaviors than they exhibited transactional leadership behaviors. Also, teachers tended to be more highly motivated under the leadership of principals who they perceived to be more transformational than transactional. Of the behaviors associated with transformational and transactional leadership, behaviors which were charismatic and intellectually stimulating appeared to be strong predictors of teacher motivation. The exploratory nature of this study raised questions which were recommended for further study.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access