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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Department of Special Education

First Advisor

George Peterson-Karlan


A sampling of special education teachers in Illinois was conducted to determine special education teachers’ perceptions of trust in school principals, colleagues (fellow teachers), and clients (parents and students) using the Omnibus Trust Scale (OTS), a reliable and valid instrument that measures the construct of trust in school systems. A subscale of the OTS, Faculty Trust in Principals (TP), was modified to form a new subscale, Trust in Special Education Directors (TSED), to determine its reliability and validity to measure special education teacher’s perception of trust in special education directors. The study focused on the comparison of survey data using the TP and TSED subscales to determine how special education teachers reported their perceptions of trust in school principals and special education directors as these two roles have been identified as the two administrative roles that are reported by special education teachers to represent who they perceive their leaders to be and those with whom they have the most frequent contact regarding program administration and instructional supervision. In addition, special education teachers’ perspectives regarding trust in principals and special education directors were investigated. This resulted in 133 usable surveys, with 4 participants completing individual follow-up interviews. Survey findings indicated that a majority of special education teachers do not express trust in school principals across a number of facets of the trust definition and report even lower perceptions of trust in special education directors. Interview results further supported quantitative findings by providing confirmation of leadership behaviors that either inhibited or facilitated special education teachers’ perceptions of trust. Results are discussed in terms of how leadership behaviors are interpreted by special education teachers to facilitate or inhibit perceptions of trust in leaders and in how these perceptions influence the school culture thereby limiting or allowing leaders to engage in instructional leadership.


Imported from ProQuest Roseland_ilstu_0092E_10905.pdf


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