Date of Award

Winter 1-29-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor/Committee Member

John Bond, Ed.D.

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Nyaradzo Mvududu, Ed.D.

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Jorge Preciado, Ph.D.


Educational Leadership, Instructional Leadership, Special Education, Principal, Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS)


Focus on instructional leadership for school principals continues to be prominent in educational research and reform, as accountability for student achievement increases. The relationship between instructional leadership and special education needs more representation in research and literature. In this study, a review of relevant historical and current research regarding principal instructional leadership is presented with a contemporary conceptual framework of instructional leadership. Using the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS), perceptions of principal engagement in instructional leadership behaviors were examined through the viewpoints of elementary principals and special education teachers in the State of Washington. Data generated by the PIMRS were used to identify patterns of principal instructional leadership. Using multivariate analyses of variance, differences were detected between principal and special education teacher ratings of instructional leadership behaviors. These findings were consistent with precedential research of instructional leadership comparing perspectives of principals and all teachers. Federal and State law requires schools to implement tiered systems of support. Results from factorial analyses indicated a significant effect for group role on leadership domains. Significant effects were found for group role and implementation of tiered systems of support, when measured across discrete principal leadership functions. No interactions effects were found.

Keywords: instructional leadership, principal, special education, PIMRS