The subject of the article of McHatton, et. al. is about the consideration of effectiveness of knowledge and preparation programs for principals and school leaders (current and potential), who are involved in the training of students with disabilities (special education) or gifted students. The overall purpose of the paper is persuasive, because it asks question (makes suggestion), examines literature, provides with findings of conducted study (evidences) and gives recommendations in order to prove the rationality of question asked. Concerning intended audience, it includes administration, principals and school leaders (current and potential), who are involved in the training of students with disabilities (special education) or gifted students, as well as the government, which plays significant role in the formation of legislative ground for further improvement in training process with exceptional students. Thus, the research question is to inspect the sufficient level of training programs in respect to the education of students with disabilities and gifted students and necessity to elaborate them.
During the study authors used both quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative methods were based on the examination of sufficient amount of professional literature, while qualitative methods were based on the conducted survey, namely Cronbach’s alpha, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), univariate testing (ANOVA), Tukey testing and Chi-square tests of significance were applied to filled by participants (principals) survey. Analytic methods were in the form of survey.
Evident in the article key questions and critical assumptions are empirical. An empirical study is conducted to validate the theoretical constructs defined in the literature. Authors were working directly with the object (letters with data). Authors worked with graphs, tables, drew diagrams and made calculations.
Data / Evidence
Analyzed article examines experimental results and statistical analysis. The survey was sent to participants from the great urban region in the southeastern United States. 64 out of 169 were finished and returned, and only 61 of received surveys were considered as completed.
This data can be considered as a mix of subjective and objective due to the fact that only the southeastern United States region was researched, but it based on the observation, measurement, test and can be confirmed. Therefore, the evidence provided is credible by one third. The credibility is determined by the extent to which the results obtained are valid with respect to the sample. As 61 principals from 169 amount to 36%, that is one third.
Rhetoric and Style
McHatton, et. al uses demographics (gender, race, age), preparation (the stage of preparation in particular behavior and educational skills), practice (how often respondents took part in particular behavior), perception of self-efficacy (respondents professed sense of efficiency in their capability to deal with different issues regarding special and gifted education), information of efficient educators of exceptional students and of ethnically and linguistically varied exceptional students, and perceptions of exceptional students, their parents/caregivers, and their educators. All these factors make authors connect with specified audience.
The relevance of the article is not in doubt, as knowledge and practice for principals and school leaders, who are involved in the training of students with disabilities or gifted students, is very important and necessary part of the learning process, and mastery of the technique is one of the most important and difficult tasks before the school leader.
The implications of the study show the necessity to deepen into the research, but as I am not the target audience, I don’t see any prospects in this regard to me.
Conclusion and Response
Authors carried out a major operation to identify the lack in effectiveness of principal preparation programs related to the available disagreement between what educational leadership preparation programs give potential school administrators and their on-job demands. It is also important that McHatton, et. al write about the need to change the role of preparation programs in the field of special education, as students with disabilities and gifted student require appropriate attitude and training in order to stay the part of society.
McHatton, P. A., Boyer, N. R., Shaunessy, E. and Terry, P. M. (2010). Principals’ Perceptions of Preparation and Practice in Gifted and Special Education Content: Are We Doing Enough? Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 5(1).